“Taking Back Our Cities” – A Perspective on Asset Management, by Gord Hume
Note to Reader:
The feature article in the Winter 2013 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter is written by Gord Hume. He is the author of four books that deal with building strong, sustainable, creative, dynamic and prosperous towns and cities.
His conclusion is that for most people and most businesses, most of the time, local government has become the most important order of government. That is why designing, restructuring and supporting strong local communities is so important to our national economy as well as our own sense of place.
Gord Hume was a city Councillor with the City of London Ontario for 13 years and is an acknowledged expert on communities, municipal government and cultural planning. His recent book, published in February 2013, is “Ten Trends for Smarter Communities”.
A Perspective on Asset Management
“Metro Vancouver recently hosted a symposium on the future of municipal government financing. It was a significant event, and I was honoured to be the keynote speaker,” wrote Gord Hume.
“A lot of smart minds assembled in the room, and there were a number of ideas and suggestions offered, all of which helped to start an important new debate for British Columbia’s towns and cities on how to finance our municipalities.”
“A key part of this new thinking is better Asset Management. Smart municipalities are increasingly aware of and committed to strengthening their asset management practices, procedures and policies.”
“This is vital to building strong, prosperous communities, because Canada’s municipalities own more than half of the nation’s infrastructure. And with the costs of replacing and renewing pipes, bridges, roads and the myriad of other civic infrastructure, this is an increasing burden for local Councils.”
“The simple reality is that we can’t pay for this infrastructure renewal on the local property tax base. And while the federal government’s promise to renew the Building Canada fund that expires next year is modest but useful, the time lines for confirmation are already causing big problems for municipal planning.”
“But there is a second part of this problem that hasn’t gotten as much attention. As I explained in my speech in Vancouver, I think we are significantly underestimating the true municipal infrastructure deficit in Canada. The public doesn’t yet fully understand the scope and seriousness of this problem.”
To Learn More:
To read the complete article, click here to download a copy of the Winter 2013 Newsletter.