How Much Will That Infrastructure Really Cost?

A new tool developed in British Columbia calculates the cost of infrastructure over the entire life cycle of the project.

1 minute read

February 26, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia | EB Adventure Photography / Shutterstock

Writing in the Strong Towns Journal, Seairra Sheppard describes a free tool developed by the Province of British Columbia “designed to help local municipalities ‘estimate the lifecycle cost implications of different land use patterns over a 100-year period,’” making it easier to make informed land use and infrastructure decisions. 

The community lifecycle infrastructure costing tool (CLIC tool) “can help local governments estimate the entire lifecycle costs of infrastructure, such as water, sewer and transportation, for different land use patterns, for example, compact- versus low-density development.”

According to Sheppard, the tool “has the ability to generate long-term infrastructure cost implications through a comparison analysis.” Several municipalities have already tested it out, including Prince George, which used CLIC to calculate the costs of building a new low-density subdivision compared to a medium-density infill development. The city found that “[i]nitial capital costs in the infill scenario are a mere fraction (about 94–97% lower) than that of the subdivision scenario.” Provincial leaders hope that making CLIC available freely will help cities gather more information about long-range impacts before making major infrastructure investments.

Thursday, February 23, 2023 in Strong Towns

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