Read the full story at The Conversation.
COVID-19 has turned the world on its head. Many socio-economic benefits Canadians took for granted are now under threat, and the economic, infrastructure and environmental problems that we were once content to ignore are now glaringly obvious.
A recent United Nations report shows that most of Earth’s ecosystems are in serious decline, and this is also true for Canada. In addition, our infrastructure is failing: most of the country’s roads, bridges, stormwater and sewer systems were built just after the Second World War, and up to 40 per cent are close to their expiration dates.
But repairing infrastructure is expensive. Cities own two-thirds of it but receive only eight per cent of all tax dollars and, historically, they have set aside very little money for infrastructure operations, maintenance and rewnewal.
As attentions begin to shift towards economic recovery, some communities are beginning to incorporate natural assets such as lakes, forests or streams into their infrastructure planning while maintaining and improving municipal services such as drinking water supplies, flood protection and stormwater management. Doing so can save municipalities billions of dollars on investments such as water treatment plants.