Presenter/Author Information

Emanuel Machado, Town of GibsonsFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Utilizing Green Infrastructure to improve Water Quality and Environmental Outcomes in the Urban Realm

Description

The Gibsons Experience - Nature is our most valuable infrastructure asset. Session Description: Gibsons’ natural capital assets, and the ecosystem services they provide, are a fundamental and integral part of the Town’s infrastructure. Natural capital assets provide clear advantages over engineered (or grey) infrastructure. They are cheaper to operate and maintain, if not degraded; may provide “free” ecosystem services; do not depreciate, if properly managed, and are carbon neutral, or even carbon-positive. Gibsons is one the first Canadian municipalities to explore managing the natural capital in our community, such as green space, aquifers, foreshore area and creeks, using infrastructure and financial management concepts that are systematically applied to managing engineered assets. Our rationale is that the natural services provided by these systems, in the form of rainwater management, flood control and water purification, have tangible value to the community as, or more, effective as engineered infrastructure. Bringing these natural assets into the same asset management system as engineered infrastructure recognizes the quantifiable value they provide to the community and integrates them into the municipal framework for operating budgets, maintenance and regular support. Many of us are unaware of the infrastructure role played by parts of our natural environment and so we may not take the kinds of precautions that preserve our natural municipal infrastructure in good working condition. Gibsons is blessed with many natural assets. The following examples provide direct municipal services: The Gibsons aquifer (water storage and filtration), creeks, ditches, wetlands (rain water management) and the foreshore area (natural seawall).

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Nature's role as infrastructure

2016SSEC

The Gibsons Experience - Nature is our most valuable infrastructure asset. Session Description: Gibsons’ natural capital assets, and the ecosystem services they provide, are a fundamental and integral part of the Town’s infrastructure. Natural capital assets provide clear advantages over engineered (or grey) infrastructure. They are cheaper to operate and maintain, if not degraded; may provide “free” ecosystem services; do not depreciate, if properly managed, and are carbon neutral, or even carbon-positive. Gibsons is one the first Canadian municipalities to explore managing the natural capital in our community, such as green space, aquifers, foreshore area and creeks, using infrastructure and financial management concepts that are systematically applied to managing engineered assets. Our rationale is that the natural services provided by these systems, in the form of rainwater management, flood control and water purification, have tangible value to the community as, or more, effective as engineered infrastructure. Bringing these natural assets into the same asset management system as engineered infrastructure recognizes the quantifiable value they provide to the community and integrates them into the municipal framework for operating budgets, maintenance and regular support. Many of us are unaware of the infrastructure role played by parts of our natural environment and so we may not take the kinds of precautions that preserve our natural municipal infrastructure in good working condition. Gibsons is blessed with many natural assets. The following examples provide direct municipal services: The Gibsons aquifer (water storage and filtration), creeks, ditches, wetlands (rain water management) and the foreshore area (natural seawall).