Green Infrastructure Asset Management Program Planning

Owner: City of Vancouver  |  Vancouver, BC


About the Project

Green Infrastructure (GI) is increasingly recognized as an effective tool to manage stormwater. GI can be cheaper to build than traditional stormwater infrastructure and offers a wide range of tangible and intangible benefits for communities. It can enhance community resiliency because it manages rainwater on site and reducing flooding; improves water quality; provides space for recreation, improves aesthetics; provides habitat for birds and pollinators; absorbs GHG emissions; and mitigates urban heat island effect.
Many municipalities are reimagining how they manage stormwater and are looking to scale-up and operationalize their GI programs. Financing, governing, monitoring and maintaining these assets, however, is complex, and will become more so as local governments become responsible for increasingly larger portfolios of GI assets. The need for more rigorous infrastructure asset management planning frameworks to manage growing GI portfolios is emerging, and the City of Vancouver (City) is the first municipality in Canada to develop a GI Asset Management (GI AM) Program.

The City’s Green Infrastructure Implementation (GII) Branch is tasked with managing the City’s GI assets. Currently, there are approximately 283 GI assets and approximately 17ha of impervious area dispersed on public lands, primarily adjacent to roads, sidewalks and bike lanes. The City has an ambitious vision to significantly expand the number of GI assets to manage urban rainwater runoff from 40% of impervious areas by 2050. This ambition – outlined in the award-winning Rain City Strategy – is world-class and environmentally progressive.

To grow and attain the City’s long-term vision, the GII Branch must adopt formalized structures and procedures to effectively manage a significantly expanded GI portfolio. GHD was engaged to develop a comprehensive, scalable GI AM program to enable cost-effective management of the City’s current and future GI assets across their full lifecyle.


GHD worked with the GII Branch to develop their green infrastructure asset management program. Developing this living framework included developing the service delivery model, levels of service, governance structures and financial strategy. To accomplish this, GHD’s work included identifying the pressures and demands that will impact City GI services; what services are required; how the services will be delivered; who is responsible and accountable for ensuring the GI services are provided, and what to track to ensure service performance. This was achieved through data reviews, interviews and workshops with City staff, and peer cities as well as financial modelling.


    GHD developed a Living GI AM Framework –the first of its kind in Canada. The GI AM framework provides guidance for effectively managing existing GI, scaling up the implementation of new GI assets, and adapting to the related evolving governance and funding challenges. The outcome of this project provides important insights for other Canadian municipalities implementing GI to support climate resilience and community livability.

    Service(s) Provided
    – Asset management
    – Stormwater management
    – Green infrastructure
    – Financial modelling
    – Stakeholder engagement
    – Multidisciplinary Team
    – Determination of the Operations and Maintenance
    – Levels of service
    – Service Delivery Models
    – Peer city benchmarking


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