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Critical Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities

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Title: Critical Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities


1
Critical Infrastructure for Sustainable
Communities
Chris Ling Ann Dale Canada Research Chair in
Sustainable Communities Royal Roads University
2
What is Infrastructure?
The set of structural elements that supports the
day to day function and influences the direction
of society
3
What is Sustainable Infrastructure?
The designing, building, and operating of these
structural elements in ways that do not do not
diminish the social, economic and ecological
processes required to maintain human equity,
diversity and the functionality of natural
systems.
4
Why do we need it?
The importance of sustainable infrastructure to a
community and its capacity for innovation is
similar to the foundation the human skeleton
plays in the overall structuring, functioning and
health of the body.
5
The Ecological Imperative
  • Meeting the challenges of Climate Change
  • Retrofitting buildings with standard technology
    30 GHG saving
  • Retrofitting with leading-edge technology
    60 GHG saving
  • Could save up to 1/5 of current energy consumption

6
The Social Imperative
  • Liveability and Quality of Life
  • Impact of the built environment on health and
    well-being

7
The Economic Imperative
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Lower energy costs
  • Lower health care costs
  • Drive for innovation
  • Competitive edge

Source Evan Hill (2005)
8
The Research
  • Trans-disciplinary team
  • Public and private sector
  • Expertise in economics, planning, forestry,
    systems dynamics, community participation and
    geography
  • Additional expertise bought from practitioners,
    decision-makers, researchers and from civil
    society
  • Case studies from infrastructure innovation in
    Canada
  • Survey of planners
  • 6 E-dialogues

9
Outcomes
  • A website to enhance literacy for public
    infrastructure.
  • 20 case studies dynamic and interactive
  • Database of innovators
  • Integrated Community Sustainability Planning Tool
  • Series of community checklists for Sustainable
    Infrastructure

10
Website http//crcresearch.royalroads.ca/sustaina
bleinfrastructure
11
Case studies
  • Sectors
  • Energy
  • Transportation
  • Waste Management
  • Land Use Planning
  • Governance
  • Demonstrating
  • Integrated Planning
  • Transformation and Innovation
  • Transferability

12
Sustainable Infrastructure Case Studies
Land Use Planning Livability as Part of
Sustainable Development Long Term Planning

Transportation Mass Transit as a Tool to
Encourage Sustainable Communities New Mobility
HUBs in Toronto Transit-oriented Residential
Development at Mt. St. Hillaire Waste Green Bin
Programs Storm Water Management
13
Sustainable Infrastructure Case Studies
Energy A Microgeneration Strategy for Canada Deep
Water Cooling Municipally Sponsored Use of Energy
Performance Contracting Renewable Energy on
PEI Wolfe Island Wind Power, Kingston

Governance Ecoperth Quest Food Exchange The Use
of Mid-term Objectives and Implementation
mechanisms United we Can community initiative
14
Findings
  • Key findings
  • Recommendations
  • Community Checklists
  • ICSP Tool

15
Key findings
  • 19th and 20th Century governance structures are
    not suitable for 21st Century imperatives.
  • Fundamental gridlock in almost all Canadian
    communities.
  • Disconnect between federal, provincial and local
    government between large, medium and small
    communities between business and research
    communities between the planning system and
    on-the-ground implementation
  • Lack of vision - particularly at the Federal
    level.
  • The legal system does not best serve sustainable
    imperatives.
  • Planning usually far too short term needs to be
    100 years
  • Champion based progress lack of institutional
    support

16
The problem of lock-in
  • Magnitude of investment in current infrastructure
    is huge e.g. Ottawa 112 Billion
  • One unsustainable historical infrastructure
    choice is intrinsically tied and has led to
    others e.g. a 1950s suburb is a complex
    relationship between lot sizes, storm pipes,
    sewers, roads, parks etc etc a change in one
    means a change in all.
  • Current planning process are also part of this
    relationship
  • The cost of change of each individual component
    is likely modest the cost to change all, is
    huge.
  • With short-term perspectives this is not
    affordable for most communities.

17
Key findings the positive
  • 700 decision makers Something must be done!
  • Near unanimous agreement investment in
    sustainable infrastructure is a necessary and
    sufficient condition for the ecological, social
    and economic well being of out communities.
  • There are many examples of Canadian innovative
    sustainable infrastructure choices, in all
    sectors of infrastructure.
  • The problem is not one of example, technology or
    even cost, the problem is one of planning and
    governance.

18
Knowable
Infrastructure Learning
Complex
Linear Solutions (strong centre, strong
edges) Reduce, reuse, recycle Cost/benefit
analyses Prototypes
Cross domain connections (weak centre, strong
edges) Worldview linkages Sustainability _at_ CAS???
Waste Management Energy Transportation Land Use
Planning Governance
No patterns, no relationships (weak centre, weak
edges) Crisis challenges all knowns, knowables,
complexities Emergencies _at_ emergents
Entrenched Silos (strong centre weak
edges) Barriers Best Practices / Case Studies
Known
Chaos
19
Summary
Un-supportive system
Sustainable solutions
Locked in technology and processes
Flexible sustainable processes
Isolated innovations and innovators
A variety of local solutions appropriate to local
conditions supported by processes
20
Using market mechanisms to stimulate greater
innovation and adoption
Without the internalization of environmental
costs sustainable infrastructure will never be a
political priority
Recommendation Municipal government implement
comprehensive water pricing Provincial and
Federal governments implement a carbon pricing
system Money raised invested in sustainable
infrastructure
21
Necessity of Innovative Financing
The investment required is too pricy for a
tax-based system, private financing must be
sought to support communities and spread the risk
of innovation
Recommendation Governments implement programs to
explore and disseminate the knowledge of
alternative financing techniques
22
Reducing uncertainty and risk
Most communities in Canada are so far from being
sustainable, fairly radical changes are required,
needing state-of-the-art and the innovative. But
most communities so not have the capacity to
manage this risk
Recommendation The federal government lead and
broker partnerships for continuing pilot projects
for leading edge solutions Mechanisms to
alleviate risks are considered e.g. subsidized
insurance
23
Reducing uncertainty and risk
Most communities in Canada are so far from being
sustainable fairly radical changes are required.
But most communities so not have the capacity to
manage this risk
Recommendation The federal government lead and
broker partnerships for continuing pilot projects
for leading edge solutions Mechanisms to
alleviate risks are considered e.g. subsidized
insurance
24
Reducing uncertainty and risk
Most communities in Canada are so far from being
sustainable fairly radical changes are required,
needing state-of-the-art and the innovative. But
most communities so not have the capacity to
manage this risk
Recommendation All levels of government should
implement asset management, life-cycle analysis
and full cost accounting with ongoing periodic
reviews of sustainable infrastructure
investments. Regulatory regimes provide lee-way
for investors willing to incur risks by moving to
leading edge and proven state of the art
technology investments
25
Policy congruence and alignment
Policies, codes, and standards for sustainable
infrastructure development vary enormously across
and between governments, and often are simply
inconsistent. Initiatives at community levels are
often stymied. Planning is disconnected from
actual implementation.
Recommendation Infrastructure Canada convene a
series of regional planning round tables to
identify inconsistencies, and to begin
comprehensive policy congruence and realignment
between municipal, provincial and federal levels.
26
Comprehensive Planning Techniques
Comprehensive long term planning for
sustainability in Canadian communities is not
common, and when in place, rarely linked to
decision-making bodies and governance structures.
Present planning at best only touches on the
costs associated with sustainable development.
Recommendation The Government of Canada
disseminate knowledge on sustainable
infrastructure innovations and planning
techniques including techniques to enhance the
sociological and economic and environmental
attributes of sustainability and cost forecasting.
27
Innovative Financing Techniques
Innovative financing options are a key for
communities trying to redirect less sustainable
infrastructure choices to more sustainable ones
The encouragement of e.g.
  • Recommendation
  • Energy performance contracting
  • Utilities provide funds to businesses to
    implement improvement, reclaiming funds with
    on-bill surcharging.
  • Built/Own/Operate/Transfer public/private/partners
    hips to finance sustainable larger infrastructure
    investments

28
Innovative Financing Techniques
Innovative financing options are a key for
communities trying to redirect less sustainable
infrastructure choices to more sustainable ones.
Recommendation Federal and Provincial
governments encourage municipalities to sponsor
the wide-spread use of energy performance
contracting to finance improvements in energy and
water use of buildings.
29
Community Checklists
For each of the five infrastructure sectors, what
are the questions that a community needs to ask?
  • Energy focus on energy savings
  • Waste focus on composting and storm water
  • Transport focus on Transit Hubs
  • Land use planning - focus on long-term and limits
    to growth
  • Governance policy alignment

30
Energy savings
Basic Information and Initial Decisions
  • Is there support within your community for energy
    saving investments, and how is this support being
    articulated?
  • Are you aware of how much can be achieved through
    planning for energy savings?
  • Have you examined case studies and best practices
    to get a feel for what can be done?
  • Have you undertaken an energy audit of your
    facilities?
  • Do you intend to undertake energy-savings
    investments in-house or are you going to contract
    out?
  • Are your plans for energy savings linked to a
    broader sustainability plan?

31
Energy savings
Implementation
  • Do you have a list of reputable energy-savings
    suppliers?
  • For energy saving, are you aware that employee
    and tenant awareness programs may be just as
    important as investment in equipment?
  • Has consideration been given to green building
    standards in the planning and construction of new
    buildings?

32
Governance
Basic Information and Initial Decisions
  • Have you prepared an inventory of your
    guidelines, regulations, standards, bylaws,
    zoning requirements?
  • Is your municipality aware of any overlap and
    duplication between local, provincial and federal
    responsibilities that may affect the development
    of sustainable infrastructure?
  • What are the barriers to concrete implementation
    of sustainable infrastructure?
  • Have you assessed your communitys engagement to
    climate change and sustainability?
  • What are other communities doing, and who are the
    leading edge communities in planning and
    implementing novel plans for governance?
  • What is the most appropriate planning timeframe
    for implementing sustainable community
    development?

33
Governance
Implementation
  • Have you considered how to address the whole
    issue of sustainability and how to govern it?
  • Do you have a template or plan to introduce
    sustainability within your community, and
    appropriately govern it?
  • Have you aligned policies, zoning, bylaws,
    regulations and standards to achieve optimal
    sustainable infrastructure implementation?
  • Do you have readily available material describing
    the long term advantages of pursing
    sustainability within your community?
  • Have you developed a process to ensure community
    engagement, and political commitment and support?

34
Integrated Community Sustainability Plans for
Canadian Municipalities
The development of a template to support
integrated community sustainability planning
35
I believe many planners, certainly those
properly credentialed, have been practicing the
planning approach that is advocated in this
tool for many years... Whether the
decision-making frameworks have embraced these is
another matter.
Opportunity
I think the biggest barrier is that we generally
do not have good processes or structures in place
in our communities that allow us to develop
community visions or plans in a systematic way.
36
We have separated humans from other beings and
from nature.
What is it about?
Sustainability, I believe, is not an end state.
Consequently, a static plan cannot purport to
provide the ultimate prescription for
sustainability.
37
What is the template about?
  • Engagement

Reconciliation
Dynamics
Guidance
Integration
Tools and Techniques
38
planning at too large a scale often bogs down
because of differences in interest OR if you have
a common interest but no authority. Planning at
too small a scale often means that the plan is
great but the power/authority to implement change
is lacking.
Principles
at what level do we decide to plan, on the scale
of a neighbourhood or a region, and in reality,
are not cities just a system of embedded
neighbourhoods if diversity is respected
39
Principles
  • Integration linking sustainability and planning
    policy

Scale moving beyond municipal boundaries and
short term policies
Governance proactive planning rather than
reactive planning
Inclusion early and full engagement of the
community
40
Please don't encourage people not to be
visionary or utopian --how else will be move out
of our present predicament.
The approach
I think that the base planning would be done at
a 100 year time scale, at a geographic scale that
included a city and it's hinterland.
41
The stepwise approach
Engage with the community
Understanding the place
Creating a plan
Implementation
42
Looking at the embedded links in the Integrated
Community Sustainability Planning tool all
attempt to engage the whole community in the
planning process -- as a first step of
integration.
Engaging
Planning strategies can begin with a single
building, say a houseFrom house to street to
block to neighbourhood similar themes can be
developedwith synergy kicking in to support
the district.
43
Engaging the communitygetting people involved
Representation who is the community what are
the stakeholders?
Principles of engagement to engender a open,
collaborative and inclusive process
Use of tools many existing resources to help the
process
Learning from others use the experience of other
communities
44
We are trying to create a structure plan whereby
density increases and forms are connected to
transportation infrastructure, energy
opportunities, amenities (existing or potential)
etclike streets that function as parks, like
parks that function like farms, etc.
Understanding
but what about protecting agricultural land and
natural spaces from the development/growth
frenzy?
45
Mapping the communityunderstanding the place
Green and community mapping what matters, and
where?
Land use and landscape planning how to manage
growth and change
Systems approach making space for natural
systems and developing within the carrying
capacity of the region
46
we cannot create community until we first
envision it
Creation
As we ponder scale of place -- what about time
scale? These days we are taking up more place
space but seem to have less and less time to
allocate to whole systems thinking and planning
it is just urgent -- no time for importance.
47
Creating a planframeworks for development and
change
What is the community vision?
Timeframe long-term vision linked to short term
cycles and goals
Scale links to neighbouring jurisdictions,
nested systems
48
I have observed over the years that much good
work is done at the community or OCP planning
level only to be completely ignored at the
implementation phase
Creation
in my area. . . people are wanting to create
rural co-housing, small eco-villages etc and are
running smack into zoning regulations that were
designed for a large extended family that
farmed the land . . . times have changed but
underlying thinking has not
49
Creating a planframeworks for development and
change
Institutional needs is the municipality in a
position to deliver on the plan?
Identify strategic areas what does the plan need
to focus on?
Commitments and outcomes what are the resource
and reporting implications of the plan?
50
The recently completed regional plan placed a
moratorium on development while policies were
established and now the document itself is poised
for implementation.
Implementation
a large barrier to integrated planning is the
weak position of Planning relative to the larger
power of the politicians, Engineering Dept and
Parks Depts (and the even weaker positions of
environmental planning or social planning
sections if they exist at all)
51
Implementing the planThe ICSP needs to be the
primary operating document for the municipality
Policies bylaws and regulations do these line up
behind the ICSP or are they contradictory?
Legal authority Is the plan enforceable by law?
Monitoring is there a robust cycle of evaluation
to ensure that short term action move the
community towards the long term vision?
52
The tool is an excellent guide for communities
to pursue sustainability. It offers many
worthwhile, essential even, suggestions for
communities to undertake Integrated Community
Sustainability Planning.
a static plan cannot purport to provide the
ultimate prescription for sustainability
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