SFU partners with City of Burnaby on climate resiliency initiative

October 13, 2021
Panoramic photo of the Burnaby skyline from Deer Lake park.

SFU's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue is partnering with the City of Burnaby and Vancity to create the Urban Resilient Futures Burnaby initiative. Its goal is to accelerate the city’s climate action plans and further its work toward a resilient and low-carbon future.

The three-year initiative will engage with Burnaby residents and businesses about mitigating climate change locally, creating a space for dialogue and local climate action projects.

The centre will be responsible for managing and delivering the initiative in collaboration with partners. Activities will include a Citizens’ Assembly on livable and resilient neighbourhoods, a task force to accelerate building retrofits, a community ambassador program and neighborhood action projects.

SFU's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue had previously partnered with the City of Burnaby and will use similar deliberative processes.

“Burnaby residents are increasingly confronting the impacts of climate change in their daily lives and have a critical role to play in co-creating solutions,” says Robin Prest, the centre’s program director.

“The City of Burnaby is a leader in democratic engagement, and we are pleased to be a partner to find new pathways forward that reduce emissions and protect vulnerable populations.”

The initiative's recommendations and feedback will help to inform the city’s official community plan (OCP). It will also demonstrate how municipal governments across Canada can engage with their residents on reducing greenhouse gases within their municipalities.

Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley says the city will benefit from people pulling together on the issue. “This is about tapping into the energy and passion of our community for positive action, and also about making sure that we hear everyone’s voice as we develop neighbourhood-level solutions to climate change,” he says.

Based in Vancouver, the SFU centre has engaged hundreds-of-thousands of citizens and stakeholders to create innovative solutions for climate change and other critical issues.

It seeks to foster shared understanding and positive action through dialogue and engagement.

The Burnaby initiative is funded by a $350,000 seed grant from the Aqueduct Foundation, with additional cash and in-kind contributions from the project partners.

To learn more about the initiative, you can read the program overview here.