Vancouver’s “One Water” approach integrates planning for all water types. Picture credit: Steffen Klatt

WEF praises Vancouver’s infrastructure planning

16 May 2023 12:05

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Vancouver/Cologny - Vancouver can help cities develop better infrastructure planning and development, according to recent findings from the World Economic Forum. As well as spearheading collaborative infrastructure development, the Canadian city has demonstrated successful models for addressing affordability, rapid growth and climate resilience issues.

Since 2022, the World Economic Forum’s Urban Transformation “Building Tomorrow’s Urban Infrastructure” team have been exploring how global cities are implementing infrastructure governance models, explains the World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Cologny in the Swiss canton of Geneva, in an article. The team have now reviewed over 25 city plans and interviewed 11 city infrastructure experts. They concluded that “Vancouver’s approach of collaborative infrastructure governance stood out as a unique and powerful model”. 

According to the article, the city of Vancouver has outlined steps for collaborative governance within a city-wide strategy known as the Vancouver Plan. These steps include establishing and integrating city-level priorities into all departments; connecting departments at multiple levels; incentivizing jointly funded projects in alignment with citywide targets; creating a centralized approach on programme and project delivery; and developing a culture that can adjust, evolve and input feedback from all stakeholders.

Vancouver’s collaborative model has conceived multiple projects, including the Alberta St Blue Green System. Because of Vancouver’s “One Water” approach, which integrates planning for all water types, the system has positively affected areas such as mobility, green space, sewage, wastewater, stormwater and broadband.

“Vancouver has shown that it takes both long-term commitment and a dynamic, well-planned approach to implement a truly collaborative and impactful governance model,” concludes the WEF. It writes that Vancouver “continues to grow and learn through self-reflection of their own programmes and projects, as well as by engaging in globally facing initiatives and organizations across the infrastructure industry”. ce/em

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