Resilience: A Definition

In our work, the Vancouver City Planning Commission uses the following definition of resilience.

[T]he capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow, no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.

Shocks are typically considered single event disasters, such as fires, earthquakes, and floods. Stresses are factors that pressure a city on a daily or reoccurring basis, such as chronic food and water shortages, an overtaxed transportation system, endemic violence or high unemployment.

City resilience is about making a city better, in both good times and bad, for the benefit of all its citizens, particularly the poor and vulnerable.

This definition comes from 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, a partner in our 2017 Summit. To learn more, visit

The City Resilience Framework (CRF), 100RC