As one of the world’s most urbanized countries (over 80% of the population is in urban areas) the work of renovating and redesigning Canada’s infrastructure lies, in large part, in the hands of its municipalities.
Communities across the country want to be sure they are investing their infrastructure money wisely, and that they are aware of and ready to adapt to the potential effects of climate change as they make local infrastructure investment decisions.
On December 12, 2017, The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Jenny Gerbasi, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) announced funding for 72 initiatives in communities across Canada through three funding programs:
- The Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP);
- The Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP); and
- The Green Municipal Fund (GMF).
Through the Green Municipal Fund, communities are not only improving the environment around them, they are maximizing municipal resources and improving the lives of their citizens.
For example, the City of Kingston, Ontario is completing a feasibility study on the complete restoration of a vacant former factory to establish a new multi-use commercial property designed to high environmental standards. This innovative redevelopment aims to inspire other projects and led to the revitalization of a neighborhood.
The resilience projects announced on December 12 demonstrate the work being done on these fronts in municipalities large and small.
For example, through Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, communities such as City of Coquitlam, British Columbia are studying new and emerging technologies to harvest and store sources of renewable energy in order to reduce corporate emissions.
And in Québec, the City of Gatineau is carrying out a climate change adaptation feasibility study which will strategically increase the quality and quantity of vegetation and open green spaces. These types of projects are crucial as communities tackle climate change and its environmental impacts.
The Municipal Asset Management Program is helping Canadian municipalities make informed decisions on infrastructure investment based on sound asset management practices.
For example, the Town of Smoky Lake, Alberta is completing an inventory and collecting data on the condition of their community’s buildings, and using this information to create a 10-year plan for their infrastructure assets. Richibucto, New Brunswick is identifying and filling data gaps through data collection to help them create an asset management plan for the community’s assets.
MCIP, MAMP, and GMF are delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and are funded by the Government of Canada.
“Helping Canadian municipalities make informed decisions on infrastructure investment based on sound asset management practices will make infrastructure dollars go further and will benefit Canadians for years to come. The Government of Canada is thrilled to make important investments in green infrastructure projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help prepare communities for the challenges that result from climate change and help build healthy, liveable, cleaner more sustainable communities,” said The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
<h4>Related funds and programs contributing to resilient urban economic growth:</h4>
- The Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program is a five-year, $75-million program designed to encourage Canadian municipalities to better prepare for and adapt to the new realities of climate change as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- The Municipal Asset Management Program is a five-year, $50-million program designed to help Canadian municipalities strengthen infrastructure investment decisions based on sound asset management practices.
- The Green Municipal Fund, is a $550-million program designed to support initiatives that demonstrate innovative solutions or approaches to a municipal environmental issue, and that can generate new lessons and models for municipalities of all sizes and types in all regions of Canada.
- The Government of Canada recently launched the Smart Cities Challenge which encourages all Canadian communities to use data and connected technologies to solve pressing issues and improve the lives of their residents. This friendly competition will help bring big ideas to life, and find solutions that achieve real and positive outcomes for Canadians.
Featured 2012 photo of downtown Gatineau, Québec by Andrijko Z. via Wikipedia.