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Calgary Resilience

Calgary is a resilient city

Creating a Calgary that is more resilient in the face of stresses and shocks.


On June 17, 2019 Calgary City Council approved the Resilient Calgary strategy. This strategy provides a foundation to help Calgary prepare to survive and thrive through future stresses and shocks so we continue to have a resilient Calgary for our future generations.

The Resilient Calgary strategy has one shared theme, four pillars, 13 outcomes, 29 actions and 39 success measures, that all help support a vision of resilience for Calgary.

The strategy’s launch is a milestone for the Resilience program resulting from two years of research, community and stakeholder engagement. An overview of the strategy can be found here (7MB). Download the Resilient Calgary Strategy (3.4 MB) and follow #ResilientYYC on Twitter.

Preliminary Resilience Assessment

As a member of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), Calgary completed a Preliminary Resilience Assessment (PRA) in March 2018 to identify stakeholder and public perceptions, outline Calgary’s main stressors and shocks, and list resiliency actions already in place.


Calgary stresses and shocks

What are stresses and shocks?

The 100 Resilient Cities, (100RC) describes chronic stress as something that weakens the fabric of a city on a daily or cyclical basis, whereas a shock is a sudden event.

The Preliminary Resilience Assessment (PRA)identified the following significant stresses and shocks for Calgary:


  1. Economic uncertainty
  2. Climate change
  3. Poverty/access to housing and homelessness
  4. Inequality and lack of social cohesion
  5. Lack of economic diversification
  6. Increased unemployment and poverty rates


  1. Financial and economic crisis
  2. Extreme weather incidents: severe storms and riverine/rainfall flooding
  3. Cyber attack
  4. Drought
  5. Fentanyl crisis

Discovery areas

Discovery areas

Four discovery, or focus areas, emerged from completion of the Preliminary Resilience Assessment (PRA). Some of these discovery areas have a co-lead, or a partner organization/team providing strategic guidance and subject matter expertise.

Economic resilience focuses on:

  • Employment barriers and ways to overcome them.
  • Developing strategies that explore and address inequitable access to electronic, online and digital channels which allow citizens to access information and services. Also focus on strategy development that investigates barriers to innovation.
  • Retraining/reusing human and capital assets to diversify our economy.

Co-Lead: Calgary Economic Development

Infrastructure resilience focuses on:

  • Measuring the value of infrastructure as it relates to quality of life.
  • Strengthening capital resilience by lowering financial exposure to infrastructure risks.
  • Developing stronger partnerships, regional planning and infrastructure.
  • Identifying the ways in which aging infrastructure can limit service delivery.

Co-Lead: City of Calgary Infrastructure Calgary

Environmental resilience focuses on:

  • Decision-making that incorporates built and natural infrastructure such as riparian areas, forests, bioswales, parks, permeable pavement and green roofs to support delivery of municipal services.
  • Understanding the risks and creating solutions that encompass the economic, ecological and social benefits of our natural infrastructure.

Co-Lead: City of Calgary Climate Change team

Inclusive leadership and decision-making

Resiliency improves when individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds have meaningful input in decision-making processes and are in leadership roles. In a complex and sometimes uncertain world, Calgary can establish a clear path forward - one that’s built on innovation and responsiveness to new ideas, solutions and ways of doing things.

We will focus on strengthening trusting relationships that institutions (including public, private, non-profit, etc.) have with Calgary’s diverse communities. Our diverse communities are valued as a strength.

  • Our research and analysis (outlined in the PRA), showed that Calgary’s under-represented, diverse communities faced challenges in developing strong relationships with all orders of government and other institutions.
  • Diverse communities offer significant benefits such as global experience and education, different perspectives, unique ways of relationship-building and the ability to think and act differently when problem-solving.
  • Data from our research shows low representation of diverse communities in leadership roles, including elected positions. During our research phase, diverse groups discussed their experiences with the ‘glass ceiling’ and other barriers related to civic decision-making. They expressed that Calgary would benefit from their diverse leadership worldviews.

Co-Lead: United Way of Calgary and Area


Preliminary Resilience Assessment

PRA one page overview (168 KB)
View the PRA executive summary (18 MB)

Rockefeller Foundation

100 Resilient Cities
The Rockefeller Foundation

Resilience Team Canada


Key Dates

January/February 2019

February/March 2019

Draft Resilience Strategy is refined

March/May 2019

Draft resilience strategy is reviewed

June 2019

  • Resilience Strategy is presented to the Priorities and Finance Committee
  • Calgary's Resilience Strategy is presented to Council

Stories of resilience

Our varied experiences and shared philosophy make us stronger as a city, a community and as a world-class urban centre. In this section, you will find a collection of stories from Calgary and other areas where resiliency is at the heart of city-planning, decision-making and service delivery.

Read an important message on resilience from The Mayor

Join the conversation

Follow our hash tag on twitter at  #ResilientYYC.


In 2016, Calgary became a member of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. 100RC is a global network of cities working to address some of the biggest challenges facing cities today. Participation provides an opportunity to better manage and respond to social, economic, and environmental challenges. An Agenda Setting Workshop was held in Calgary in spring 2017 to discuss Urban Resilience and focus on future stresses and shocks that Calgary may face.