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Water and Infrastructure

Local government decisions concerning building approvals, subdivision development and other municipal infrastructure have significant connections to our watersheds and stream health.

Since 2005, West Coast Environmental Law has been working on advancing legal strategies that support green buildings and green infrastructure practices including sustainable rain water management in order to reduce the impact of urban development on our natural ecosystems. Collaborating with the Green Infrastructure Partnership, we have been showcasing local government innovators and hosting forums and workshops to discuss best practices with local government staff and decision-makers, and design and development professionals. Through this work, we are uncovering the optimal legal strategies for overcoming many of the common barriers to sustainable development. Visit waterbucket.ca/gi to learn more about Green Infrastructure Partnership and its initiatives, or to learn more about other green infrastructure and water sustainability strategies.

With our Green Infrastructure Guide (2007), we identified a number of legal tools local governments may use to advance green infrastructure goals. Our current objectives are to work with local governments, communities and key stakeholders to increase awareness of how the decision-making frameworks of local governments may be designed to lead more directly to sustainable choices. Part of this process is the improvement and targeting of internal and external local government governance processes and communications practices to overcome barriers to implementing sustainability.