This presentation offers a powerful and practical argument for local governments to invest in conservation and to consider ecosystems and the services they provide on par with their built infrastructure when considering both short-term and long-term planning. Through the presentation of the two unique urban problems of infrastructure decline and ecosystem decline, audiences will see how municipal natural asset management can act as a nature-based solution for both of these problems. This argument will discuss how municipalities are currently integrating asset management for built infrastructure, what natural assets are, and how municipalities can account for them. 

Lucas Mallome is a Master of Arts in Planning student at the University of Waterloo. Under funding provided by a Mitacs Accelerate grant, he is working with the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative to prepare and apply a monitoring and evaluation framework for municipal natural asset management projects occurring across Canada. Lucas is also a member of the Natural Resources Conservation Planning and Management Research Group at the University of Waterloo and is a student member at the City of Waterloo’s Sustainability Advisory Committee. His research interests include environmental planning, green infrastructure, monitoring and plan evaluation, policy analysis, and public engagement strategies.