Community Lifecycle Infrastructure Costing (CLIC) Tool

Comparing the costs of infrastructure of different development scenarios over a 100 year period to inform long-term sustainable development and asset management decisions


Pursuing infrastructure development projects requires careful consideration of various factors that affect both short and long term planning decisions and impacts. Infrastructure projects have financial, social and environmental implications. There is much evidence identifying that compact complete community development is more financially and environmentally sustainable over the long term. However, there are limited tools available to help provide a clear business case to support this approach.
The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development created the Community Lifecycle Infrastructure Costing Tool (the Tool) to help local governments make informed decisions related to the long-term sustainability of infrastructure development. The CLIC Tool enables Local Governments to compare the infrastructure costs of different development scenarios over a 100 year period informing sustainable development and asset management decisions. The tool is effective in facilitating integrated decision making by bringing together engineering, finance and planning perspectives.


Infrastructure costing can help estimate the development, maintenance and replacement costs of the infrastructure required for different development forms over time. This provides financial analysis upon which to base land-use planning decisions. The CLIC Tool examines the lifecycle costs of development (including initial capital, annual operating and maintenance, and replacement costs) over a 100‐year period.
The Tool is best suited for residential development projects. Users can compare the costs of different development patterns (e.g. sprawl vs. compact) and assess projects of various sizes ranging from a collection of houses, to a block‐by‐block infill development, to a large subdivision. Information is categorized in the following major groups: 
  • Cost of Potential Community Services (roads, water, sanitary, stormwater, recreation, transit, schools, fire, police and solid waste)
  • Private User Costs (driving costs and home heating costs)
  • External Costs (air pollution, climate change and vehicle collisions)
Revenues from development charges, property taxes and user fees can also be estimated. 
Even though the tool is best suited for residential development, financial impacts of commercial and other types of development can be incorporated. 
The tool facilitates integrated development decision making by requiring planning, engineering and financial perspectives to engage.   
Note to User: This Tool was built in Microsoft Excel 2010. It contains macros that rely on a Visual Basic platform. Earlier versions of Excel and Mac users might not be able to run this Tool.

Energy Savings/GHG reductions

This tool was developed to help local governments with land-use planning decisions by facilitating the cost comparisons of various development scenarios. In addition, the Tool includes options for estimating external costs such as air pollution, climate change and vehicle collisions. So far, findings from a number of BC communities that have piloted the tool suggest that there is a clear benefit to investing in development of more compact, complete, energy-efficient communities.

Business Case

With the expected population growth in urban centers, local governments are faced with daily challenges of meeting rising needs for infrastructure development to deliver community services. Important decisions have to be made every step of the way in land use planning to ensure development and asset management decisions facilitate sustainable results in most cost effective way. The CLIC Tool can help local governments assess implications of different development scenarios to inform sustainable infrastructure development decision making. 
The Tool can provide better understanding of the long-term cost implications of various development scenarios.  Development decisions grounded in informed choices will result in long-term savings for local governments and residents while encouraging more environmentally sustainable land-use.   


The CLIC Tool is an Excel based tool and it is available for download for free from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development website


Efficient infrastructure solutions and management of urban growth can help prevent sprawl and protect natural environment surrounding urban developments. This provides numerous environmental benefits and protects wildlife. Development of compact communities encourages alternative modes of transportation and contributes to an increased health in population and more pronounced social interaction.

Related Tools

CARIP category

  • Broad Planning