Decision makers in local government face the ongoing challenge of how to provide services to the residents with limited resources. Whether drilling a new well to provide drinking water, renewing a road surface, buying new buses or issuing driving licences, municipal services require resources.
Next to skilled human resources, municipal services also require financial and natural resources. New trucks cost clean air in that their operation burns oxygen, emits carbon dioxide, creates dust, and has negative impact on human health. A new road costs biodiversity in that green space is converted into asphalt and natural habitats are split and separated. At the same time, a new road produces noise, i.e. it costs tranquillity. Similarly, new housing areas impose costs in terms of biodiversity, clean air, agricultural soil, and fresh water since the additional inhabitants will convert more fresh water into sewage. Clearly, municipal action always has both fi nancial and natural cost implications.