Toronto – December 8, 2016 – The City of Toronto in conjunction with 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) launched a major effort today to improve Toronto’s resilience to the shocks and stresses of an urban city in the 21st century.
The initiative stems from Toronto’s acceptance earlier this year into the 100RC Network, a global community of cities working to build urban resilience, including three other Canadian cities – Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver.
“I am committed to improving how this city functions for the benefit of all who live, work and invest here,” said Mayor John Tory, speaking at a workshop event held at Toronto’s Allstream Centre this morning.
“An important part of that involves taking a hard look at stresses for our city, such as housing and transit, and unplanned events, such as flooding and ice storms. We need to find innovative ways to address them so Toronto can continue to be one of the most livable and competitive cities in the world.”
More than 100 stakeholders from across city government and the private sector, non-profits, non-government organizations (NGOs), academia and civic groups joined Mayor Tory, City Manager Peter Wallace and staff of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative today to kick start the development of a multi-sectoral resilience strategy.
The workshop began the process of identifying priorities, actions and metrics. Toronto’s resilience strategy will be drafted over the next six to 12 months.
The City’s search for a Chief Resilience Officer (RCO), an innovative new position in city government funded through the 100RC partnership, is also underway. Toronto’s CRO will lead the city’s resilience efforts and continue to engage stakeholders, resilience experts and 100RC staff in drafting a comprehensive resilience strategy.
“Toronto is helping to fuel global momentum around building urban resilience, and is leading by example,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities.
“The agenda-setting workshop will clarify the city’s needs, foster innovative thinking and give us a blueprint for engaging partners from across sectors to bring Toronto the tools and resources needed to become more resilient.”
100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, is dedicated to building urban resilience in 100 cities around the world. The 100 member cities span six continents and include London, New York, Bangkok and Rio de Janeiro. Through the network, Toronto gains access to tools, funding, resources and technical expertise that will help the city build resilience to physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century, and develop and implement a resilience strategy.
Each city in the 100RC network receives four types of support:
• financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts,
• technical support for the development of a robust Resilience Strategy,
• access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors to help to develop and implement their resilience strategies, and
• membership in a global network of cities that can learn from and help each other.
Toronto’s resilience strategy will be a holistic, action-oriented plan to build partnerships and alliances, as well as financing mechanisms, and will pay particular attention to the needs of poor and vulnerable populations.
The strategy will build on work already underway to improve Toronto’s resilience to climate change and extreme weather. More information about Toronto’s resilience efforts to date is available at toronto.ca/resilientTO.
About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation
100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a Resilience Strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit:
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities.