Saturday, December 3, 2011

Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: The 2008 Capital Region Series

Doing Business Differently
Building on the interest and momentum generated by successful series on both sides of the Georgia Basin in 2007, CAVI - Convening for Action on Vancouver Island collaborated with the Capital Regional District and the Green Infrastructure Partnership to organize Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation: The 2008 Capital Region Series. Each event started with a meet-and-greet at 8:30am, and typically concluded  around 2:30pm after a walkabout.

According to John Finnie, CAVI Past-Chair (and General Manager, Regional and Community Utilities, Regional District of Nanaimo), “The goal of the Series was to promote networking, inform and educate practitioners, and help local governments move ‘from awareness to action’ in doing business differently --- The New Business As Usual --- through sharing of approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned that will ultimately inform a pragmatic strategy for climate change adaptation.”

"There are a lot of good things happening throughout Vancouver Island. Yet practitioners in local government are not necessarily aware when they are being innovative and are not often aware of innovation in other municipalities. Because people are so busy in their own worlds, it takes a third party to connect them. That is the role that CAVI plays."

"The Showcasing Innovation Series created pride and enabled local governments to tell their stories in a way that no other forum currently provides,” observes Kim Stephens, Series organizer and event Moderator, and Executive Director for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. “These were neither workshops nor seminars in the conventional sense. Rather the purpose of presentations was to whet the appetites of participants for the site tour that followed. The real learning took place on the bus and when we went for a walkabout.”

"The 2008 Series featured projects that demonstrated what is meant by The New Business As Usual, and set provincial benchmarks for others to measure themselves against," adds Jody Watson, Harbours & Watersheds Coordinator for the Capital Regional District. "The 2008 Series was a progression, starting with a roadway in View Royal and ending with the mini-municipality that is the University of Victoria."

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