Municipality: Town of Aurora Implementation: 2013-06-10
Policy Name: Economic Value of Natural Capital Assets Contact: Jim Kyle
Department: CAO Title: Manager of Special Projects
Community profile:

Population 58,000 projected population 70,200 in 2013

Short Description:

The completed report identifies all of the existing and the economic value of Aurora's Natural Caital Assets. 


 The report is to utilized to determine impact new development applications have on the economic value associted with natural capital.

Measuring the economic value of natural capital assets is a relatively new field pertaining to economic indicators. Pioneers in this field include the David Suzuki Foundation and Friends of the Greenbelt. Most of the current research pertaining to the economic value of natural capital assets applies to large geographic regions and is not easily scalable for individual municipalities or individual properties.

There is a growing consensus that all corporations should factor in the benefit of natural capital within the overall economic health of the corporation. The model developed by the Town of Aurora can be easily replicated by other municipalities and in addition, once developed is simple to keep up to date as the community builds out.

The report also a good educacational tool.


Step by Step Process:

The process began by focussing on what were the desired outcomes of the report and the benefits of the report subsequent to completion. Some of the main desired outcomes were that the report would be easy to keep updated, would allow for analysis of any geographically area with the Town (ranging from individual properties to the entire Town), and would have practical long term applicability.  




With this in mind the data and mapping associated with the report were all developed though the Town’s GIS system. Thus, completing an economic evaluation of evaluation of a development application, secondary planning area or other geographic area is a simple process that can be completed quickly and efficiently.   




As mentioned previously measuring the economic value of natural capital assets is a relatively new field of research, however, there are several excellent examples reports  that have been completed and research undertaken by the Canadian Urban Institute, David Suzuki Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Friends of the Greenbelt  and others.




Within said mentioned reports there has been extensive background research completed pertaining to the per hectare value’s associated with protection of all various components of the natural ecosystem and as this data is relatively current there was no need for Aurora to duplicate this research.



Primary Drivers:

Initiative is included within the Town of Aurora Starategic Plan.

The Environmental Advisory Committee played a huge part in the completion of the report along with other stakeholders


Town GIS


Environmental Advisory Committee




Can be easlily updated as the municipality builds out




Easily replicated


Allows for a full review of sustainabilty of development plans, secondary plans and enhancements of existing features.

Lessons Learned:

Informal meetings as well as formal meetings with stakeholder can lead to open discussions and benefit projects

Applicability Across Ontario:

Can be very easlily adapted for any municipality or land owner.

Similar Tools Used by Other Municipalities:

Reports have been completed for larger geographical areas such as the Greenbelt and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority but none known for individual municiaplities.

Further Information: