Resilient Cities: Preparing for Future Environmental Threats

The City of Edmonton needs to start preparing now for future shocks that could harm our critical systems, says resiliency expert Craig Applegath. The effects of threats like climate change, oil shortages or skyrocketing oil prices, and extreme weather can be reduced in the future by planning in the present.

Resilient Cities - Craig Applegath

This past Friday at noon, Applegath, a Toronto-based architect and resiliency expert spoke to a group of about 150 people in City Hall. He says when cities are undergoing planning processes they tend to talk more about environmental sustainability or “what we’re doing to the world” than resiliency which is “what the world is doing to us.”

Resilient Cities - Craig Applegath

He says that resiliency is about the ability of a city to bounce back from shocks without its critical systems being destroyed and that sort of resiliency can only be achieved by planning for the future.

Applegath says Edmonton must begin immediately to build its resilience by taking six important actions: reducing our energy requirements; increasing our food and manufacturing self-sufficiency; increasing the redundancy in our systems so that if one area fails – such as water or power plants – the city is not crippled; increasing the durability of our buildings to withstand extreme weather; integrate our developments into the environment as opposed to ignoring the environment and; and diversifying our economy and systems in general.

For more information on this subject, read Craig’s discussion paper Resilient Edmonton: Why and How.

Originally published on The Way We Green on September 23, 2010

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