Designing with Nature in British Columbia



Hierarchy of ‘Green’ Vocabulary

“British Columbia communities enjoy many natural amenities that are in the resources bank and producing returns. Lakes, streams, sea coast, forests, topography, flora and fauna are assets,” wrote Tim Pringle in an article titled President’s Perspective: ‘Design with Nature’ Starts With Water Sustainability. Tim Pringle is President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. 

“These assets enable communities to draw on nature for infrastructure services needed for the built environment.  By designing with nature, as it were, communities lessen and sometimes avoid the expense of engineering and building various kinds of infrastructure.” 

To develop a common understanding plus help advance a new way-of-thinking about land development, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia developed the following hierarchy of ‘green’ vocabulary:

  • Green Value means land use strategies will accommodate settlement needs in practical ways while protecting the ecological resources upon which communities depend.
  • Design with Nature is one approach to achieve Green Value, and is supportive of community goals that relate to building social capacity.
  • Green Infrastructure is the on-the-ground application of Design with Nature standards and practices.
  • Water Sustainability is achieved through Green Infrastructure practices that reflect a full and proper understanding of the relationship between land and water.

This cascading vocabulary was unveiled at the Creating Our Future Workshop that was held in conjunction with the Gaining Ground Summit in Victoria in June 2007. 



To read the complete story posted on the Convening for Action community-oof-interest, click on Designing with Nature in British Columbia. For more information about what is happening in British Columbia in the local government setting, also click on “Design with Nature” philosophy guides Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia


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