Meet Calgary's first chief resilience officer

Meet Calgary's first chief resilience officer

From floods to cyberattacks, Calgary's first chief resilience officer will help the city prepare for various shocks and stresses.

The new role is part of the city's membership into 100 Resilient Cities, a network launched in 2013 by The Rockefeller Foundation to address social, economic and environmental challenges faced by growing cities. 100 Resilient Cities will fund the position for at least two years.

Brad Stevens, the city's deputy manager, was named chief resilience officer Friday, the same day the city held a workshop with more than 150 people to develop its resilience strategy. 

Being a resilient city is about becoming more prepared to encounter shocks and stresses and to recover from them, Stevens told The Homestretch Friday.

"We're not out there creating it all brand new," Stevens said of the position. "The benefit of the resiliency network is you get to learn from the trials and challenges and opportunities other cities have gone through."

When asked about the top priority for the city when it comes to making Calgary more resilient, Stevens spoke of the current downturn.

"There's this increased concern about the financial resiliency and economic shock that we're going through right now, so I think that is high on everyone's mind and as a result, on mine as well," he said.

"There's also been a lot of discussion this morning about the lack of social cohesion and some of the inequities that exist within our community."

Calgary was selected from more than 1,000 applications from around the world for the 100 Resilient Cities network, and joins cities such as London, New York, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

The resiliency workshop Friday followed an economic summit Thursday to discuss the record high office vacancy rates in the city's downtown core.

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With files from The Homestretch