PIBC CPL Webinar #8 – Water and the City
October 25th 2023
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM PST
CPL Units: 1.5

Registration for this event is closed.

How we plan and design for water and water elements plays a major role in the resilience, equity, and functionality of our communities. This webinar explores the relationship between community wellbeing and water, or ‘blue’ spaces.

  • Explore innovative ways to adapt urban planning policies and buildings to make our communities more resistant against extreme floods, heat and drought. Margot Long shows how the water-centric city, or “sponge city” is a key strategy for managing water resources in a sustainable and resilient way. She will present innovative examples of storm and rain water collection, such as rain gardens, green roofs, wetlands, etc. that can be applied in communities throughout the Province. 
  • Learn about the BlueHealth Project, which brought together researchers from across Europe to explore the impacts that urban blue spaces can have on health. Between 2016 and 2020 over twenty studies in more than eighteen different countries were conducted across the world. BlueHealth researchers have assessed the impact of planning practices intended to support the use of blue infrastructure at both a city and local level. They have provided guidance on how to improve access, aesthetic value, and the motivation to visit spaces, whilst minimising risks. For urban planners, BlueHealth researchers have created a series of tools to assess these initiatives, and developed protocols for others to do the same. This research has been led by Professor Simon Bell.
  • Find out how you can create a softer and more pleasant urban environment by including various interactive and passive water features to the built form.  Micro-level aquatic features not only serve to manage stormwater but can completely transform the appearance and atmosphere of a space by increasing opportunities for relaxation, play and stress alleviation. Learn how to improve access to water features for all citizens. Ken Wu provides a number of examples that can be applied throughout the Province, in large and small communities, and in colder climates.


Professor Simon Bell
Department Head of Landscape Architecture, Estonian University of Life Sciences & BlueHealth Steering Committee Member

Professor Simon Bell is a Forester and Landscape Architect and currently head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Estonian University of Life Sciences.

His research interests include landscapes and wellbeing, and outdoor recreation in wild or natural landscapes.

Simon is leading the Estonian University of Life Sciences contribution to BlueHealth and is leading the planning and design research area, as well being involved in several other areas.

He is contributing to the implementation of several small-scale projects designed to test urban blue planning in an experimental setting. Simon also sits on the BlueHealth steering committee.

His previous research has examined the health and wellbeing impacts of accessibility to forests and other green spaces, and quality of life in peri-urban regions.

Simon joined the Estonian University of Life Sciences in 2005 and also has a position as Associate Director of the OPENspace Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

Margot Long
Partner, PWL Partnership

Since becoming a partner in 1992, Margot has brought a vision for community participation and a strong sustainable mandate to PWL. She has been integral to building a team that is passionate about changing the landscape of cities. Always pushing towards new boundaries and looking for innovative solutions, her portfolio includes transit and waterfront developments, schools, indigenous projects, neighbourhood planning, and urban design.

Margot completed a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon and went on to specialize in community and public realm projects throughout British Columbia, North America, and Asia—always viewing projects through a public-benefit lens.

When she isn’t creating spaces for the world to enjoy, you can find her in her garden or painting.

Ken Wu
Director, Vincent Helton & Associates

Ken is a director at Vincent Helton & Associates, a leading architectural water feature design company in the Pacific Northwest. Based in Vancouver BC, the company has served highly regarded architects, landscape architects, developers, and local municipalities for 40 years over 1000 public and private projects. Its multidisciplinary and experienced team of designers has training and education in architecture and engineering and are skilled at capturing the beauty and intrigue of water in our design through specialized mechanical systems design. From creative design solutions to seamless project management and lasting system performance, its aims to exceed expectations at every stage for valued clients and partners.

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