Rain City Strategy: Making Green Infrastructure Mainstream in Vancouver

December 12, 2018 - 2:30PM - TASC2, Room 8570

Speaker:

Melina Scholefield
Manager, Green Infrastructure Implementation, City of Vancouver

Melina is a professional engineer with a long-standing dedication to sustainability and innovation in the municipal sector, leadership development and collaboration across disciplines. Melina is Manager of Green Infrastructure Implementation for the City of Vancouver. She and her team are responsible for developing an implementation plan for the City’s ambitious Rain City Strategy: A green infrastructure and urban rainwater management initiative. Prior to taking on this new role, Melina was engaged in the private sector in the field of green buildings, both as a construction management consultant and a Built Green certified residential builder with a special interest in passive house design and construction methods. Previously, Melina worked nearly 11 years with the City of Vancouver. As Manager of the City’s Sustainability Group, Melina’s portfolio included advancing the Greenest City goals as well as climate protection, renewable energy, climate change adaptation, green building programs, employee sustainable commuting programs and sustainable City operations for the 2010 Olympics. She also spent nearly eight years in the Transportation Division, where she developed expertise in community engagement, integrated land use and transportation planning and sustainable transportation.

Abstract:

Vancouver is a community with deep cultural connections to rain and both practical needs and tremendous opportunities around rainwater management and green infrastructure. In November 2017, City of Vancouver Council adopted the ambitious Rain City Strategy, a green infrastructure and urban rainwater initiative.The strategy has a long-term vision to embrace rainwater as a valued resource for our communities and natural systems and establishes three goals: (1) Water quality, (2) resilience and (3) livability through healthy urban ecosystems. The strategy will provide a roadmap for green infrastructure implementation to 2050, with a long-term target to capture and clean 90% of Vancouver’s average annual rainfall. The City is striving to use green infrastructure to not only manage rainwater but also as an opportunity to meet multiple City objectives, including: Combined Sewer Overflow mitigation, resilience to changing climate patterns, environmental protection, place-making in the public realm, urban biodiversity and habitat, community building, green job creation and helping our citizens have greater connection with nature and natural processes. This presentation will focus on the actions Vancouver is taking to transform its thinking and city-building to embrace rainwater as a resource that both shapes and serves the city. It will describe the work underway to create a comprehensive green infrastructure implementation plan for what we expect to become a broadly applied new asset class.

Please RSVP 

Dr. Zafar Adeel (zadeel@sfu.ca); Executive Director, PWRC; Professor of Professional Practices, REM