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Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: Supporting the Vision for Integration of Natural Systems Thinking into “The BC Framework”


"Coined in 2010, the term Sustainable Service Delivery was introduced by the Province to integrate financial accountability, infrastructure sustainability and service delivery. While the BC Framework was only launched in early 2015, it has garnered both national and international attention. Other provinces, as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, are integrating the BC Framework into their respective work," wrote Glen Brown.

FLASHBACK TO 2009: Looking Back, the Future is Now – Yesterday’s Policies and Expectations for Green Communities have been Evolving into Today’s Standards and Practices


Provincial programs provide direction as to where the Province wants to go with Living Water Smart and the Green Communities Initiative. “At the end of the day, planners and engineers and other disciplines must come together to determine the issues and solutions. No statute will help them do that. Living Water Smart is about motivating and inspiring everyone to embrace shared responsibility," stated Lynn Kriwoken.

“The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is the keeper of the GIP legacy,” observes Paul Ham, a Past-Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership


“I see my years of chairing the Green Infrastructure Partnership as helping to get the ball rolling and ideas disseminated, on green infrastructure, all of which has subsequently been taken up by others to a much greater degree of implementation and success. Our efforts a decade ago moved the state of-the-art of green infrastructure to a more mainstream level," said Paul Ham.

OP-ED: Do Green Streets Actually Work for Stormwater Management? – reflections by Jonathan Page on eco-region differences

"Surprisingly, there are very few peer-reviewed research papers that have evaluated Green Streets on a stormwater control and treatment basis. There are a couple of factors related to the lack of available datasets," wrote Jonathan Page. "One factor is the 'newness' of the Green Streets and Green Infrastructure movement; another contributing factor is the difficulty in monitoring and instrumenting Green Street projects for research."

Towards an Eco-Asset Strategy: Capital Region’s Finance Committee informed by Town of Gibsons leadership and pioneering experience

“Many of the services that we deliver to the citizens of Gibsons are directly or indirectly delivered by nature,” Machado told members of the CRD finance committee. “At the heart of the Gibsons Eco-Asset Strategy is North America’s first natural asset policy, which directs the municipality to consider the role of natural assets within our overall asset management strategy. The innovation in this strategy is that it helps to explain the value of natural assets in terms of financial and management strategies."

“Achieving sustainable service delivery is the end goal of asset management,” states CAO David Allen, City of Courtenay

“As co-chair of Asset Management BC, I have seen first-hand how proper asset management principles have benefitted communities around the world," wrote David Allen. "Increasingly, the benefits provided by nature are being recognized and incorporated into the delivery of local government services. Unlike the built environment, healthy ecological services are self-sustaining, and don’t require expensive operations and maintenance costs."

“Recognise green infrastructure as we do grey infrastructure, so it is properly considered as an asset,” said Shahana McKenzie, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Green infrastructure asset recognition issue is aimed at having green infrastructure formally recognised by Treasury as an asset class. According to Shahana McKenzie, "The big issue regarding funding green infrastructure is really about the source of the money and whether you can depreciate for an asset's replacement or not. In local government there are a number of instances where landscape works are not able to be capitalised."

Asset Management BC Newsletter (June 2016):”How I Personalized Asset Management” – reflections by Christina Benty

"Whether it is our bodies or our infrastructure, we may be tempted to resent, ignore or argue with the slow inexorable tide of aging but that is not leadership. Leadership is having the courage to face reality," wrote Christina Benty. "The asset management process provides the information for local government to develop a strategy that considers realistic life-cycle projections, replacement costs, and risk analysis to allow for long term organization-wide planning."

Sustainable Service Delivery: Watersheds are infrastructure assets

“Implementation of asset management along with the associated evolution of local government thinking is a continuous quality improvement process, not a discrete task. This led us to the concept of a continuum. The relevance of this way of thinking is that different local governments will always be at different points and different levels of maturity along the asset management continuum. This is why we focus on outcomes and do not prescribe what to do in BC," wrote Ray Fung.

“We must debate the question of urgency in responding to climate change,” stated Chair Vic Derman when introducing his report to the Capital Regional District’s Environmental Services Committee

"Unquestionably, many of the decisions we must make will involve financial outlays. In some cases, they will be considerable. When deciding whether or not decisions being considered are 'affordable', the CRD and local governments should ask the question: 'What will be the cost to the planet and ultimately to us, if other local governments around the world were to join us in deciding that we simply can’t afford to respond'. In all likelihood, we cannot afford not to," concluded Vic Derman.

Think and Act like a Watershed: Harness Nature to Adapt to a Changing Climate

Research at Simon Fraser University resulted in development of a framework for evaluating application of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA). “Julia Berry did a great job of integrating concepts and testing the evaluation framework on her two case cities. Hopefully the work continues to advance our understanding of how to make these concepts accessible and measurable to help guide and promote implementation," stated Sean Markey.

Green Infrastructure in Kitsap County, Washington State: Manchester Stormwater “Park” achieves desired environmental and social outcomes in Puget Sound

“A spiral rain garden is the focal point of the park. Water that typically flows off the hillside is collected and treated through this facility. Then every half-hour, one cell of the three-cell spiral walls releases its water charge through rocks located on the sides of the figure. It then filters the water through the spiral, putting clean water back in to Puget Sound,” explained Andrew Nelson.

GREEN COMMUNITIES & DESIGNING WITH NATURE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Partnership for Water Sustainability’s “Feast AND Famine Workshop” showcased solutions and tools for building water-resilient communities (Dec 2015)

"We face a number of cumulative and compounding human effects that at present make sustainability a moving target. We need to stabilize these effects if we don’t want adaptation and resilience to constantly be beyond reach," said Bob Sandford. "The problem is that that we have begun to undermine the planetary conditions upon which we depend for the stability of environment and economy that are the foundation of our prosperity."