Environmental infrastructure can be considered as "any
capital asset that utilizes environmental resources to provide a
community service." The design and location of environmental
infrastructure can have a significant effect on a region's economic
growth, community livability and environmental health.
Compact communities can use infrastructure more efficiently than
low density developments as less
land, energy and delivery/collection
systems are required to serve the same number of people.
The high infrastructure costs and environmental degradation
associated with dispersed development are prompting many local
governments to look at innovative and sustainable ways of
development. Smart growth strategies, demand management programs and
watershed based planning are just a few of the approaches
being used to maximize infrastructure efficiency and improve
community sustainability. In addition, tools such as the Infrastructure Costing Tool for Local Governments enable local governments to determine the long-term lifecycle costs of alternate development scenarios.
These new approaches have resulted in financial, social and environmental benefits to the following areas:
The Local Government Division supports a range of activities
related to sustainable community development. From water
conservation to land use regulation and planning, the Department
participates in several local government and provincial initiatives
that support a sustainable future for British Columbia.