Exploring the adoption of low-impact development in Atlantic Canadian municipalities

Mills, Matthew
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University of Guelph

End-of-pipe systems divert often untreated runoff into municipal sewers that connect to receiving waters, endangering the health of aquatic and riparian ecosystems. Low-impact development (LID) can improve the quality and quantity of runoff yet adoption rates are slow. This is especially true in Atlantic Canada, where cities are consistently ranked unsustainable and receive the highest annual precipitation. For more sustainable cities in the future, adoption of LID must increase. Often responsible for stormwater management decisions, planners and engineers from Atlantic Canadian municipalities were interviewed to identify barriers to and perceptions of LID. The interviews yielded six predominant trends representing recurring themes in the interview dialogue. These trends suggest stormwater management is a significant component of projects, yet there is unfamiliarity with LID. No single definitive barrier is inhibiting the adoption of LID in Atlantic Canadian municipalities but developer reluctance was identified as substantial. Overall, municipalities are receptive to LID but require further education and evidence of local effectiveness.

Atlantic Canada, municipalities, low-impact development, stormwater management, runoff