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Climate Risk Framework and Processes

Climate Risk Assessment Framework

Climate change is increasing the frequency, severity, and intensity of many local climate hazards, including floods, droughts, extreme heat, and severe storms. 

These hazards affect the durability and performance of public infrastructure and city facilities. Infrastructure will require more thoughtful planning and design to improve resilience to cope with future climate conditions. 

A method to enhance infrastructure planning and design for future climate conditions is through a Climate Risk Assessment. To assess climate risk on infrastructure and facilities, a framework has been developed to identify potential climate impacts and recommend measures to manage, adapt, and recover. By applying this framework, we can work towards building a more climate-resilient city.

There are two processes that support the Climate Risk Assessment Framework. These processes help to identify climate hazards relevant to a project, determine climate risks, and provide adaptation measures to reduce risk for planning, designing and operating infrastructure: 

Climate Risk and Resilience Assessments (CRRA)

Climate Risk and Resilience Assessments (CRRA)

A CRRA is to be completed collaboratively with the project team, the design team, climate risk experts, and key interested parties (e.g. significant user groups). Typically, the CRRA process can take three to five months to complete. Some key parts of the process include:

  • A qualified and experienced consultant provides engineering and climate expertise. 
  • Workshops investigate historical and projected climate hazards to the site/project, the consequences of these interactions, and measures to reduce current and future risks. This may require the involvement of relevant operations and maintenance staff who have experience with the project site, project type, and/or can speak to historical events. 
  • The assessment results are provided in a report summarizing the process, detailing the prioritization of adaptation recommendations and the cost-benefit of implementing these measures.
  • An implementation plan for addressing the adaptation measures in the planning, design, and/or operations of the infrastructure or facility.

Climate Risk Screening Assessments (CRSA)

Climate Risk Screening Assessments (CRSA)

A CRSA is less time-intensive than a CRRA. It can take one to four weeks to complete. 

A CRSA is intended to be applied at a later stage in design where there is some baseline understanding of climate risk, as a simplified process to assess and reduce known risks. It requires less project team engagement and results in a short summary report of the top risks and recommended climate adaptation measures. 

To complete a CRSA, the CRSA tool can be utilized by the project team to: 

  • assess risk,
  • identify adaptation measures, and
  • prioritize action based on the highest risks identified.
Choosing the appropriate type of assessment to complete depends on:
  • the project type,
  • the project value,
  • infrastructure longevity,
  • similarity to other projects already having completed a CRRA within Calgary,
  • the opportunity to reduce risk,
  • funding sources, and
  • applicable standards, guidelines, bylaws, and policies.

Both assessments are intended to support informed decision-making during project planning and design phases and reduce life cycle climate risk. They both integrate The City’s most recent climate projections information.

To determine the right type of assessment and when to complete it, please refer to the Climate Risk Assessment Framework and Process Guide or reach out to the climate adaptation team at The City of Calgary for more information.

Completed CRRAs

Since the start of the CRRA process in 2019, The City has completed 19 CRRAs. Our process for completing CRRAs aligns directly with the PIEVC High Level Screening Guide process and requirements.

Assessments Type of Project
Green Line (Feb 2020) Transit
Sunnyside Diversion Project (2020) Water
Eau Claire Promenade (Mar 2020) Water
Glenbow (July 2021) Building
Forest Lawn (December 2021) Building
194th and Macleod Interchange (December 2021) Road
Events Centre (April 2021) Building
Marda Loop (April 2022) Public Space / Roadway
Calgary Electric Transit (July 2022) Transit
Stephen Ave (July 2022) Public Space / Roadway
Village Square CRRA (March 2023) Building – Recreation Centre
Manchester Industrial Complex CRRA (March 2023) Industrial Buildings - Portfolio
North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre CRRA (March 2023) Historical Building
Bridgeland Place (May 2023) Building -Affordable Housing
Community Drainage Initiative (June 2023) Stormwater
East Calgary Master Plan (July 2023) Industrial – Portfolio
Walden Fire Hall (August 2023) Building - Fire Hall and Library
8th Street (November 2023) Public Space / Roadway
MNP Centre (December 2023) Building - Recreation Centre

Completed CRSAs

The City began to trial the CRSA process in 2023, and has completed three to date. Previous guidance only pertained to the CRRA process, but the CRSA process has recently been created to provide a more flexible risk assessment methodology for different project types.

Assessments Type of Project
Spring Gardens Master Plan (May 2023) Industrial Buildings - Portfolio
Arts Common Transformation (July 2023) Building - Performance Space
Glenmore Twin Arena (December 2023) Building - Recreation Centre

Associated plans and strategies

Climate Dashboard

Fulfilling the 2023-2026 Climate Implementation Plan

Focus Area: Buildings

Supporting Calgary’s Climate Strategy

Theme: Built Infrastructure