Publication: Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Evidence of Low Impact Development (LID), a concept first advanced in 1990, can now be seen across North America. Like many infrastructure transformations, this growth in LID design has benefitted from regulatory changes, as compliance versus cost remains an important motivator in any commercial venture. Through their efforts, LID pioneers have demonstrated a range of social and aesthetic benefits that have complemented the economics of this approach.
Municipalities across Canada are leading the charge, following such initiatives as the 1985 Canada Water Act, the follow-up Canadian Clean Drinking Water Act, and the 2006 B.C. Clean Water Act.
From these, creative visions like Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan have grown. Developers are being asked to manage stormwater in new ways on-site to help minimize the effect old practices were having on our waterways and the sustainability of the surrounding environment. As well, local infrastructure is rarely designed to tackle the larger volumes encountered with modern developments. Guidelines have become mandates
and design standards, trying to achieve an end result of better environmental management.