The City of Calgary launches the Resilient Calgary strategy

Calgary - Yesterday, Calgary City Council approved the Resilient Calgary strategy that provides a vision to making Calgary a more resilient city for our future generations. Resilient Calgary identifies strategies and actions The City of Calgary and community can take to help us prepare for future stresses and shocks.

Calgary has faced numerous stresses and shocks and we have proven that we are resilient and capable of working through them and moving forward. A chronic stress weakens the fabric of a city on a daily or cyclical basis, whereas a shock is a sudden event.

“The Resilient Calgary strategy harnesses and celebrates the Calgarian spirit and the unparalled can-do attitude that we have witnessed time and again,” said Brad Stevens, Deputy City Manager and Chief Resilience Officer.

The launch of the strategy is an important milestone for our community and has involved two years of research, with more than 15,000 touchpoints of engagement and stakeholder interaction.

These resilience-building activities have included the Agenda-Setting Workshop and Downtown Economic Summit in 2017, focus groups, workshops, open houses, online engagement, The City research data analysis and stakeholder interviews – to name a few.

On June 15, 2019, our communities celebrated the fifth Neighbour Day, a day in which Calgarians get together to celebrate and appreciate one other, celebrating the collective spirit of Calgarians after the 2013 flood.

This week, also marks the sixth year since the flood, and since then The City has taken on many programs and projects such as community education initiatives and riverbank stabilization, to name a few, which will help to reduce damage from future floods.

Since the 2013 flood, Calgarians have faced many challenges. The work reflected in the Resilient Calgary strategy will ensure that Calgary can withstand the future stresses and shocks that our community will face.

This visionary document looks at Calgary holistically with one shared theme, four pillars, 13 outcomes, 29 actions and 39 success measures, that all help support a vision of resilience for Calgary.

The shared theme and Pillars are:

  • Shared Theme - A Future-Focused Calgary: All pillars use a future focused lens when advancing resilience outcomes and actions.
  • Pillar 1 - The Future of Calgary’s Economy: All community members are encouraged and able to participate in a diverse and strong economy.
  • Pillar 2 - Inclusive Futures: Institutions have trusted and informed relationships with Calgary’s equity-seeking communities.
  • Pillar 3 - The Future of Calgary’s Natural Infrastructure: Natural Infrastructure assets are identified, protected, tracked, managed and used to inform investment and planning decisions.
  • Pillar 4 - Future Ready Infrastructure:  Calgarians are supported through strategic investment in future focused and resilient infrastructure.

The essence of being a resilient city is creating collaborative communities that work together. Continued resilience work will require listening, learning and working together hand-in-hand.

The Resilient Calgary team will develop an implementation plan by Q4 of 2019 and will build on this spirit of collaboration, cooperation and involving of community members, organizations and stakeholders.

To read the complete strategy, visit



Following the 2013 flood, Calgary’s City Council supported the intentional work of a resilience team to undertake work to determine the resilience challenges that faced our city and to begin a journey to address these challenges. As part of the 2014-2018 Action Plan City business plans and budgets, a resilience team and office was created.

One step the team undertook at the time, was our application to the 100 Resilient Cities network (100RC). Calgary joined the network in 2016 as part of the third and final cohort of cities involved.

Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, 100RC is a global network and grant program aimed at supporting cities to build resilience to pressing social, economic, political and ecological challenges.

Calgary membership in the network has enabled The City to access platform partners and subject matter advisors within the 100RC community, a strategy partner AECOM who have provided tangible support throughout the strategy creation process, connection to other 100RC cities to learn from and be inspired by such Pittsburg US, Wellington NZ, and Medellin Columbia. The team has also benefited from being connected to the three other 100RC Canadian cities – Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal to share learning and address shared challenges.

With the announcement of Rockefeller transitioning the work of 100RC to other areas, the resilience work in Calgary will continue on as planned. The resilience work in Calgary has been embedded through our City structure, in our business plans and through our culture using a resilience lens. The Resilient Calgary strategy, has specific outcomes and actions that have been planned to continue outside of the support of 100RC.