City of Vancouver Launches Resilience Strategy

The City of Vancouver has launched Resilient Vancouver, a multi-year strategy aimed at enhancing the capacity of our neighbourhoods, our government and our infrastructure to serve our diverse communities today, and to withstand and recover from inevitable shocks and stresses, now and in the future.

The strategy includes a set of 12 strategic objectives and 40 actions that represent tangible steps the City can take to address critical gaps in our knowledge, and promote different ways of thinking and working with community, to reduce risk and foster positive outcomes for more people. It focuses on three priority areas:

  1. Thriving and prepared neighborhoods
  2. Proactive and collaborative city government
  3. Safe, adaptive buildings and infrastructure

“From earthquakes to social inequity, Vancouver faces intersecting challenges that impact the resilience of our residents, neighbourhoods, businesses and urban systems,” says Katie McPherson, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Vancouver. “Vancouver is not alone – By learning from the experiences of our community and collaborating with local and global partners, we have the collective capacity to prepare, adapt and thrive in the face of these challenges.”

Resilient Vancouver takes a comprehensive approach to addressing shocks and stresses and builds on a strong foundation of work underway at the City and across our community to adapt to climate change, prepare for emergencies and improve the health and wellbeing of all residents.

The strategy aligns with and bolsters city initiatives such as the Climate Adaptation Strategy, One Water Initiative and the Healthy City Strategy, and will be embedded into the City-wide planning process. Planning for resilience will also be interwoven into actions across City departments—such as transportation or neighbourhood planning already underway—to ensure this lens is part of every city initiative. Resiliency isn’t a separate goal—it’s a key part of all work going forward by Vancouver.

In addition to launching the strategy, the City has also created a Resilient Neighbourhoods Toolkit. It includes a series of tools and resources to support neighbourhood planning and action for future challenges or crises. The toolkit can be used by community-based organizations and groups interested in hosting Resilient Neighbourhoods workshops. Through a series of exercises and worksheets, participants create plans and practice how they might respond to help each other in emergencies.

Later this year, the City will also launch a Resilient Neighbourhoods Grants program that provides small bursaries for community-based organizations and groups interested in hosting workshops in their neighbourhood. The grant program will launch in late 2019.

The framework for Resilient Vancouver was endorsed by City Council in April 2019. The strategy is the culmination of a two-year process involving more than 2,500 stakeholders, experts and community groups in addition to global partnerships and cross-departmental discussions within the City.  It is informed by new research and analysis about local risks and hazards and aims to reduce risk to our community, by elevating the voices of underrepresented groups in decisions and planning for disaster and climate change adaptation, response and recovery.

In 2015, the City identified a strategic opportunity to access funding, resources and expertise to advance critical pieces of work by applying for the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) program. Through this program of work, the City has been successful in leveraging over $2 million in research with external partners, and has confirmed additional support for forthcoming initiatives.

Vancouver is also collaborating with other cities in Canada who are focusing on resilience—Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. We are finding solutions to common issues, advocating for senior government support for solutions and sharing our knowledge with other cities across the country.

For more information, visit

VCPC Involvement

The Vancouver City Planning Commission was proud to be an Institutional Partner in the development of the Resilient Vancouver Strategy. In particular, we partnered with the Resilient Vancouver team in hosting our 2017 Shaping Resiliency summit, and the resilience round-table at our 2018 A City for All Summit.

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