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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.

ARTICLE: “We need to work at multiple scales and multiple levels to improve conditions in our small stream watersheds—that’s our strategy,” stated Chris May when explaining application of science-based understanding in Kitsap County

"We have applied this whole systems concept to develop our strategy for watershed retrofit and rehabilitation. Now it is a matter of wait and see in order to be able to show the positive effects of the retrofit program," stated Chris May. "Everyone wants instant gratification, but realizing the benefits takes time. It took 100 years to get here. It will take 100 years to turn the situation around. The initial signs are good. The monitoring shows that Kitsap County may be ‘holding the line’."

Hong Kong promotes ‘Blue-Green Infrastructure’ for liveable city

"Our vision is to provide world-class stormwater drainage services enabling the sustainable development of Hong Kong. During the implementation of our projects, we take into consideration various factors, including ecology conservation," stated Edward Tong. "Based on the sustainability principle, Blue-Green Infrastructure enhances the community’s living environment and maintains Hong Kong as a liveable city 'for you and me'."

Asset Management BC Newsletter (Fall 2016): “Asset Management takes LEADERSHIP,” states Gord Hume, author and former municipal Councillor

"Part of great municipal leadership today is also understanding the importance and urgency of smart asset management. If leaders are not focused on the protection, development and renewal of their municipal assets then their community becomes more vulnerable—and so does the next generation of residents and taxpayers," wrote Gord Hume. "Leadership. Great leadership. Strong leadership. Canada’s municipalities need it, want it and deserve it."

THE WELL-TEMPERED CITY: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Behavior Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life – a visionary new book by Jonathan Rose

In the vein of Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Edward Glaeser’s Triumph of the City, Jonathan F. P. Rose—a visionary in urban development and renewal—champions the role of cities in addressing the environmental, economic, and social challenges of the 21st century. He advocates using green infrastructure to mitigate damage from destructive storms. "What's so compelling about natural systems solutions is that they not only save costs but also improve the quality of life," he contends.

FLASHBACK TO 2009: How does a community weigh the benefits and liabilities of change driven by demand for land use? – contextual article by Tim Pringle is a foundation piece for Ecological Accounting Protocol

The key principle is that settlement and ecology are equal values and they must be as much in balance as possible for wellbeing of human and natural systems. “If we were in fact measuring ecological values, there would be more ‘weights’ (reliable data) on the ecology side of the balance scale; thus leading to more informed conclusions and hence different decisions," stated Tim Pringle.

Turn Cities into Gardens: This is why we should all be covering all our buildings with plants

"Design firm Arup just published a study on the benefits of plant-covered buildings - some of which are so green they look like they've been deserted by humans and are slowly being reclaimed by nature - and they found the benefits go way beyond just sucking up CO2 and looking pretty," wrote David Nield. "The company's engineers took a variety of measurements in five cities to see what impact extra greenery could have."

ARTICLE: Sustainable Watershed Systems – Watershed-systems Thinking Meets Asset Management

“The BC Framework is a powerful tool for local governments to focus community planning and infrastructure decision-making processes on beneficial life-cycle outcomes right from the start,”stated Brian Bedford. “It encourages local governments to protect, preserve, restore, and manage their natural assets in the same way they manage their hard engineered assets.”

$250 Billion Sink or Swim: How Canada Can Finance the Water Infrastructure Gap

The goal of 'Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management' is to forestall an unfunded taxpayer liability flowing from 'changes in hydrology'. This means protect and manage the water balance of a watershed in the same way that engineered assets and the services they provide are managed. The foundation for this paradigm-shift was laid in the 1990s when Bill Derry (photo left) and Kim Stephens led a workshop program for BC municipalities.

YOUTUBE VIDEO: Green Infrastructure Takes Stormwater Management ‘Back to the Future’ – Andy Reese, 2011

Andrew Reese sees stormwater management going "back to the future" faster than a 1982 DeLorean with a "flux capacitor." Even if you don't get his clever reference to the Steven Spielberg movie, it suffices to say: Big changes are coming out when it comes to regulating pollutants in stormwater. And, it turns out, mimicking nature with green infrastructure can provide a reliable means of meeting new standards.

Getting the Most from Infrastructure Assets: Ecological Accounting Protocol (Part 2 of 2)

"The Ecological Accounting Protocol (EAP) is an economic tool to make real the notion of 'watersheds as infrastructure assets'. EAP would support four related analytical approaches to capital expenditure and life cycle costs represented in infrastructure (drainage) services drawn from natural assets. These are Substitution, Cost Avoidance, Environmental (watershed health) Benefits, and Attributed Values," wrote Tim Pringle.