2019 - Canadian Institute of Planners Award (5)

Award for Planning Excellence
Project Name: City of Calgary Ephemeral & Intermittent Streams Project
Company: Intelligent Futures, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Tannas Conservation Services Ltd., Landwise Inc., The City of Calgary

The City of Calgary Ephemeral & Intermittent Streams Project, an initiative of The City of Calgary’s 2016 Riparian Action Program, was developed to minimize the further loss of riparian areas within Calgary – with reference to those found alongside ephemeral and intermittent watercourses – and build a framework to protect and use these areas as green infrastructure.
The jury felt that this project provided a valuable example of how innovative practice and rigour can be combined to mitigate the environmental impact caused by urban development. With the loss of watercourses, vital ecosystem services can disappear, including naturalized stormwater management, wildlife habitat sources, and water filtration. As a result, local biodiversity and water quality can be negatively impacted, while also increasing the risk of local flooding. The project utilizes comprehensive technical mapping to demonstrate the fundamental importance of watercourses as drainage sources, and their critical importance to flood protection, mitigation, and overall environmental health. The project’s creation of an exhaustive decision-making support tool was deemed to be both timely and necessary, particularly given the implications of climate change.
The jury was impressed with the sound methodology deployed, and the user-friendly approach taken to communicate such a complex and technical planning issue. The City of Calgary is commended for their flood resiliency efforts to improve ecosystem health within the Bow River and Red Deer River watersheds.