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Climate Change in the Urban Environment: Essential Steps to Enabling Resiliency
Climate change is a global issue, requiring national and international collaboration and agreements to act, with actions generally delegated to the provincial and territorial level for implementation at the urban/community level, providing new and unique challenges and opportunities. In Canada, 7 out of 10 Canadians live in urban areas – areas that serve as economic, social and cultural hubs. The importance of urban centres in the everyday lives of most Canadians is further heightened by the task of addressing climate risks and the need to build climate resiliency.
Climate resiliency decisions often require strategic actions and implementation directed by local level decision-making. This workshop will provide an overview of current knowledge regarding climate change and the steps to building and enabling community resiliency.
A working definition of resilience is the capacity of a system—a household, a community, an organization —to prepare for disruptions from outside of the system, to recover from shocks and stresses, and to adapt and grow from a disruptive experience / event.
With a primary focus upon the priority risks in southwest BC (including drought, rural–urban interface fires, extreme weather events, heat waves, flooding and sea level rise), the workshop will detail each aspect of climate risk and resiliency planning and action including the following:
- Risk and vulnerability assessment;
- Climate resiliency planning and action;
- Emergency planning and response.
We will focus upon a few priority risks brought to the fore by the workshop participants, working collaboratively through the steps to enable climate resilient urban centres/communities. An emphasis in the workshop, as we work through the steps, will be highlighting the essential questions to be asked, the essential steps to be taken and by whom.
Step 1: Initiate the process / project
Step 2: Articulate and assess the baseline (incl. trends and projections)
Step 3: Identify and prioritize risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities
Step 4: Develop and prioritize resilience strategies
Step 5: Finalize and share the plan
Step 6: Implement the plan
Step 7: Monitor, evaluate and adjust (ongoing)
All participants will receive pre-reading materials to prepare to ‘set the stage’ for the workshop.
All are welcome! Sustainability practitioners, emergency planning and response practitioners and community planning practitioners may find this particularly useful in their work.
Christine Callihoo, MSc, RPP
Christine has more than 20 years professional consulting experience in land use and community planning, facilitation and engagement, and in research and policy development with a focus upon the natural environment, human settlements and self-determination; building community resiliency. She has experience with all jurisdictional settings including federal, provincial, regional, and municipal, in addition to Indigenous governments. Her experience includes co-development of climate change adaptation plans for communities in Canada’s Arctic and on the west coast, co-developing a guidebook specific to building climate resiliency in forest-dependent communities in Canada, developing natural environment and sustainability plans, and developing strategic action plans based upon ‘deep dive’ engagement with those who are to champion the outcomes. She has contributed to key processes and assessments including the Infrastructure Canada’s Climate Lens General Guidance 2018 and the IPCC Working Group II Climate Change 2014 ‐ Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability WGIIAR5 documents.
She has been empowering people through workshops, classroom teaching, publications and webinars on the topic of climate change adaptation and mitigation, renewable energy, economic development, and building community resiliency and self-determination for several years. More recently, she has earned a certificate in asset management planning to gain further ‘tools in her tool box’ to assist communities as they build-in urban resiliency through the integration of the natural and built environment.
Christine serves as the Emergency Social Services (ESS) Zone C Team Lead (East Vancouver) with the City of Vancouver and the Province of BC and serves on the Neighbourhood Emergency Assistance Team (NEAT) Advisory Committee with the Vancouver Fire Department.