Planning group rising to challenge

As of Dec. 16, the local group from the design, engineering and urban planning community calling themselves The Comox Valley Challenge is halfway to its goal of submitting an entry in the Living City Design Competition, presented by the International Living Building Institute.

  • Dec. 30, 2010 6:00 a.m.

The Comox Valley Challenge team has held six ideas visioning sessions so far. Photo Submitted

As of Dec. 16, the local group from the design, engineering and urban planning community calling themselves The Comox Valley Challenge is halfway to its goal of submitting an entry in the Living City Design Competition, presented by the International Living Building Institute.

Each Living City Competition team will envision a city that explicitly meets all 20 of the “Imperatives” of the Living Building Challenge 2.0. The end result must be rooted in solid ecological and architectural principles by addressing the seven petals of the Living Building Challenge 2.0: site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty.

“Our team has chosen the entire Comox Valley to redesign,” stated local architect Tom Dishlevoy. “The first part of our process has been to meet with local experts in all of the areas covered by the competition and generate ideas and visions for a sustainable Comox Valley. The last three weeks have been some of the most exciting times in my design career since moving here 12 years ago.”

The team has held six ideas visioning sessions that often ran well over the three-hour time allotted. “Participation from the community has been wonderful,” said team leader Jay Dahlgren.

Many people came forward to participate with the team, and a partial list includes: planners from Courtenay, Cumberland and the Comox Valley Regional District, a local agriculture expert, an affordable housing representative, the Comox Valley Land Trust, a BC Hydro engineer, a local civil engineer and a green building contractor.

Team member Alison Mewett, local landscape architect and planner, was excited by the learning experience.

“I learned something new at every session, including how much power is generated by the water from Comox Lake and how much good farmland that it will take to feed the Comox Valley,” she said. “This process should be used for all significant public projects.”

From here, the team will move into the intensive two-week design phase of the competition in January, with the final submission due date Feb. 1.

For more information, contact the team at livingcity@tda.ca, look for The CV Living City Challenge on Facebook or visit the competition website at www.ilbi.org.

— The Comox Valley Challenge

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