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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.

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."

“That wetland isn’t just pretty – it’s quantifiable infrastructure,” wrote Roy Brooke in a Globe & Mail op-ed

"People do not build infrastructure for its own sake, but to provide the services they require. Across countries and sectors, there is a growing recognition that nature can provide vital services equivalent to those from engineered assets," wrote Roy Brooke. Where nature provides equivalent services to engineered infrastructure, it should be accorded at least similar management and protection. Much can be done to support and accelerate the trends under way."

NEW REPORT: Green infrastructure significantly reduces flood damages

"Green Infrastructure (GI) is necessary for water quality and stream health, and enhances community resiliency and environmental protection. In addition to these benefits, GI reduces government expenditures and protects existing investments in flood control. However, to be effective, GI must be implemented at the watershed level and communities must realize that they will all benefit from each other’s investments," explains Dan Medina.

What Happens on the Land Matters: Restore the Water Balance in Urban Areas!

The City of North Vancouver’s Rain Garden Program is a foundation piece for a long-term vision for restoring watershed health in a fully urbanized city. “A single rain garden will not make a material difference. But 1000s of rain gardens would be a different story. Restoring stream health requires a long-term commitment over decades by the community, successive Councils and City staff. We can turn the situation around over time," says Mayor Darrell Mussatto.

Moving Towards Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management: Environment Deputy Minister lauds work of Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

“The Ministry of Environment appreciates that the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC embraces shared responsibility for the Water Sustainability Action Plan. The next phase of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative through 2017 will add to 'Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework' and integrate watershed systems thinking and adaptation to a changing climate into asset management," wrote Wes Shoemaker.

“When a ‘design with nature’ ethic guides community development, the drainscape becomes a rainscape,” explains Daniel Roehr, founder of the Greenskins Lab at the University of British Columbia

“DRainscapes” is a three-minute animation that explains the link between a single yard and the watershed system. "Finding ways to share the tools of our profession with wide audiences is increasingly necessary. It defines our ability to quickly adapt to our increasingly erratic environment, as citizens and cities implement the tools we have created to mitigate the impacts of development and climate change," states Daniel Roehr.

Introducing the “Asset Management Continuum for Sustainable Service Delivery in British Columbia”

“Implementation of asset management along with the associated evolution of local government thinking is a continuous process, not a discrete task. We needed a way to illustrate this diagrammatically, and thus communicate, what the journey by a local government to the eventual Sustainable Service Delivery destination would look like. This led us to the concept of a continuum,” stated Glen Brown. "Over time they can achieve the goal of sustainable service delivery for watershed systems."

What Emanuel Machado, Town of Gibsons Chief Administrative Officer, learned at the “2015 World Forum on Natural Capital”……

At the World Forum held in Scotland last November, Emanuel Machado shared the story of the Town of Gibsons Eco-Asset Strategy with an international audience. “After two exciting days, I walked away with a sense that we in Canada, and BC in particular, are heading in the right direction and, perhaps, even leading in some ways. In terms of how best to address natural capital in the context of cities and urban areas, Canada is ahead of the game.”