The three most resilient cities? They’re all in Canada | Cities | theguardian.com.
” For perhaps the first time, someone has tried to qualify the resilience of cities. Grosvenor, the London-based property company led by the Duke of Westminster, analysed more than 100 independently verified data sets in order to determine two key elements of what makes a city resilient: its “vulnerability” on the one hand, and its “adaptive capacity” on the other.
Vulnerability was measured by looking at climate threats, environmental degradation (including pollution and overconsumption due to sprawl), resources (particularly access to energy), infrastructure and community cohesion. Weakness in any of those areas reduced a city’s score.
Adaptive capacity, or a city’s ability to prevent and mitigate serious threats, was a combination of governance (high value here on democracy, freedom of speech, community participation, transparency, accountability and long-term leadership vision), strong institutions, learning capacity (including good technical universities), disaster planner and finally funding (from budget to credit and access to global funding).
Rob Ford and ice storms notwithstanding, Toronto tops the list, following by Vancouver and Calgary and closely trailed by several US cities. London is 18th, suffering as Grosvenor pointed out from social tensions due to lack of affordable housing. Eight of the weakest 20 cities are in the Bric countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, where blistering economic growth has not yet led to long-term resilience. One particularly disturbing trend is that some of the least resilient cities on the list are also the ones where the population is expected to grow fastest. “
“In his new book Resilience, Andrew Zolli — the director of the global innovation network PopTech — uses the electrical grid as an example of a system that lacks just that. And in an increasingly interconnected world — financially, ecologically, politically — one in which small errors in one place can cascade into broader system failures, the ability to adapt, accommodate and bounce back is only going to become more important. From climate change to overpopulation to recessions, the threats facing the world are as unpredictable as they are varied — which is why we need to craft systems that are nimble, that can bend under stress rather than break. “If we cannot control the volatile tides of change, we can learn to build better boats,” writes Zolli. “We can design — and redesign — organizations, institutions, and systems to better absorb disruption, operate under a wilder variety of conditions, and shift more fluidly from one circumstance to the next.” ”
via The Power Grid: From Rickety to Resilient – TIME.