Many municipalities and developers in B.C. are emerging as North American leaders in smart growth practices at the regional and local scale. Residents are demanding more choices in housing, and in the quality of neighbourhoods and job opportunities. In recognition of this leadership role, West Coast Environmental Law has developed a comprehensive web-based “Smart Bylaws Guide” to help local governments implement smart growth strategies through policy and bylaw changes.
This Water Environment Research Foundation report by LK Lampe, entitled “Post-project monitoring of BMPs/SUDS to determine performance and whole-life costs”, states that, over the past 20 years, the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the United States has been instrumental in reducing both the detrimental impacts to receiving water quality and the exacerbated flooding caused by urbanization and storm water drainage. More recently, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) have started to be used in the United Kingdom.
The National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure recently released another in its “best practice” series. “Source and On-Site Controls for Municipal Drainage Systems” provides a brief overview of the rationale behind stormwater management programs, and explains why implementing run-off controls is important in a sustainable development context.
Michael Zbarsky, with the Municipal Engineering Services Branch of the BC Ministry of Community Services, delivered a presentation outlining the province’s perspective on green infrastructure to a 2005 Joint AGM in Burnaby. The AGM had a green infrastructure theme, and was of special interest to municipal engineers, planners, and others interested in introducing green infrastructure to their communities.
The Silva Building in the City of North Vancouver is the first residential building in Canada to achieve this certification, and represents the City’s commitment to pursue opportunities that support its goals for a sustainable community.
The District of Lantzville is one of B.C.’s newest municipalities and the first incorporation of the new millennium. A key task is to develop its own policies and, in particular, establish standards for anticipated development. As a coastal community in a semi-rural setting, but also in a growing region, it is important to the community of Lantzville to ensure that future growth adheres to strong environmental standards.
In December 2005, the Victoria Transport Policy Institute issued a report entitled “Win-Win Emission Reductions: Smart Transportation Emission Reduction Strategies Can Achieve Kyoto Targets And Provide Other Economic, Social And Environmental Benefits”. Prepared by Todd Litman, the report was presented as a contribution to the 11th United Nations climate change conference held in Montreal.
In November 2005, the Resort Municipality of Whistler won first place in an international competition for long-term planning for its comprehensive sustainability plan, Whistler 2020. Whistler won top honors out of all 53 competing cities. Whistler was also declared one of the most liveable communities in the world, winning a silver medal and placing third in its population category for this award.
The term 'natural capital' refers to a region’s natural, environmental, and ecosystem resources, and land. It is capital because it contributes goods and services necessary for environmental and economic health. In addition to some of the more obvious benefits of environmental conservation such as habitat preservation, flood control, and ensuring water quality, there are significant financial benefits. Assigning a monetary value to our natural resources creates another motivation for environmental preservation and restoration.