YOUTUBE VIDEO: “A simple challenge to a municipal councillor or regional board member is: Why would you take on another unfunded liability called drainage – which is what you have been doing for a lifetime!,” stated Kim Stephens, keynote speaker at the Nanaimo Water Stewardship Symposium (April 2018)
“An educational goal is that those who are involved in municipal land use and drainage would understand the vision for ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’. It is an educational goal. Part of that is the paradigm-shift to recognize watersheds as infrastructure assets,” stated Kim Stephens. “The significance there is that people in local government get it, in terms of whether you use the word deficit or liability, that we don’t have the money to refinance or replace our existing core infrastructure such as water, sewer or roads.”
Restored stream to be central feature of Ford plant site’s redevelopment in St. Paul – “This is an opportunity to envision what a 21st-century community is,” says Tom Fisher, director of the Minnesota Design Center
Ford’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota opened in 1925 to build Model Ts in a state-of-the-art facility powered by a hydroelectric dam on the Mississippi River. When the last vehicle rolled off its line in 2011, it was Ford’s oldest factory. Today, all that remains is an expansive tract of bare land. But the site is poised for a dramatic rebirth into a dense mixed-use neighborhood designed to be a showpiece of energy efficiency, smart design, ecological stormwater management, and enlightened economic development.
OPINION PIECE: “Public Sector Accounting Board must seize options to begin allowing governments to consider natural assets on the balance sheet,” says Roy Brooke (Nov 2018)
“Local government efforts to account for natural assets… run afoul of Canadian public sector accounting rules, which do not allow accountants to consider natural assets to be ‘real’ assets for financial purposes,” stated Roy Brooke. “This could — and should — change, however, as the result of an ongoing consultation led by Canada’s Public Sector Accounting Board. They develop the Handbook that guides Canada’s public sector accountants, and this consultation is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make adjustments to the concepts underlying our Canadian public sector accounting standards.”
“The mottos of the sponge city are: Retain, adapt, slow down and reuse,” stated Kongjian Yu, the landscape architect who has transformed some of China’s most industrialized cities into standard bearers of green architecture
“One thing I learned is to slow down the process of drainage. All the modern industrial techniques and engineering solution is to drain water away after the flood as fast of possible. So, modern tech is to speed up the drainage but ancient wisdom, which has adapted in the monsoonal season, was to slow down the drainage so the water will not be destructive anymore. By slowing the water it can nurture the habitat and biodiversity,” stated Konjian Yu.
REPORT ON: “Assessing the Worth of Ecological Services Using the Ecological Accounting Process for Watershed Assessment: Brooklyn Creek Demonstration Application in the Comox Valley” (Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC; released September 2018)
“The concept of natural capital and natural assets can be a challenge to integrate effectively into asset management practices,” stated Kim Stephens. “Local governments need ‘real numbers’ to deliver outcomes and support decision making. EAP – Ecological Accounting Process – deals with a basic question: what is a creekshed WORTH, now and in future, to the community and various intervenors? Selection of Brooklyn Creek as an ‘EAP Demonstration Application’ was made possible by the willingness of the Town of Comox to participate in a program funded by the governments of Canada and BC.”
VIDEO: “The Town of Comox is a leader among municipalities in taking care of a ‘creekshed’ and enjoying a package of ecological services provided by it,” stated Tim Pringle when he debriefed Council about the Brooklyn Creek Demonstration Application of the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP)
“This demonstration application of the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) has endeavoured to establish what the Brooklyn Creekshed may be worth from the point of view of investments made in the lower catchment by the Town of Comox and other intervenors / managers. As well, this demonstration application of a systems approach provides context for identifying future opportunities to access more ecological services from the middle and upper catchments of the creekshed to serve human demands as well as the intrinsic needs of nature,” stated Tim Pringle.
What do Boise, Idaho and London, England have in common? – These Urban Cities Are Investing In Smart And Green Infrastructure
Boise uses geothermal energy to heat more than six million square feet of downtown building space, about 90 buildings and is the largest-direct-use system in the United States. “Sustainability for us is all about the triple bottom line – community, economy and environment,” said Boise Mayor David Bieter . “Being green is important, but only if those changes can become part of the very fabric of who we are as a community, how our local businesses prosper and grow, and how we protect those key elements that make Boise such a special place to call home.”
XIONGAN NEW AREA: “Is China’s ‘city of the future’ a replicable model? Success of Xiong’an’s ambitious green experiment seems guaranteed but its strength may make it hard to emulate,” writes Li Jing
“As part of its green initiatives, Xiong’an will become a testing ground for innovative green financing tools to fund projects to clean up local water systems, build energy-saving buildings and public transportation systems. Whilst the commitment to sustainable development is commendable, the real environmental benefits of Xiong’an’s green experiments are questionable considering the area suffers from chronic water scarcity and severe ecological degradation,” wrote Li Jing.
DESIGNING WITH NATURE IN NEW YORK CITY: “For better resiliency, don’t just try to defeat nature—work with it,” says Carter Strickland, New York state director of The Trust for Public Land
“Before Hurricane Sandy, most New Yorkers felt immune from natural disasters. We don’t experience frequent tornadoes like parts of the Midwest, earthquakes like California, or droughts and wildfires that have scorched much of the west. Sandy was our wakeup call for how climate change will have significant and widespread affects,” wrote Carter Strickland. “By including innovative parks and playgrounds in our long-term planning, New York City can serve as a model for American coastal cities looking for ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
Retrofitting Cities for Tomorrow’s World (2017): “What is needed is a new approach, based on futures thinking, which embeds the ideas of ecological and social resilience into the very fabric of the built environment of cities,” says Malcolm Eames, editor
“Today, a key challenge for policy and decision makers globally is how best to develop the knowledge and capacity to use resources more sustainably. Governments in the UK and across the world are therefore introducing increasingly challenging targets to reduce the impact we have on our environment,” stated Dr. Malcolm Eames. “However, in what is an increasingly urbanised world, ‘piecemeal’ change cannot equip cities, as major foci of global population, to rise to the challenges of climate change. “