Shocks like economic downturn biggest threat to sustainable city, panel finds

Alberta Professional Planners Institute held a panel presentation about resilience and sustainability in Calgary at the John Dutton Theatre on Nov. 9.

“The statement that, ‘ a great place to make a living and a great place to make a life’ is the essence of sustainability in Calgary,” said Christina Fuller, sustainability consultant for the Imagine Calgary plan.

“This is our vision in Calgary and that vision comes from the Imagine Calgary plan.”

Fuller discussed the vision and the components of the Imagine Calgary plan, which builds on a social system.

That system includes diversity, a sense of community, affordable housing, and the environment.

The panelists discussed the significance of implementing a collaborative work model to develop sustainability in Calgary.

Calgary was also named one of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities.

Chris Arthurs, director of the 100 Resilient Cities program, said that overcoming shocks and stresses in a city is the most important part of building Calgary.

She gave an example of the flood that happened in 2013 and linked it to a successful part of resiliency in Calgary.

“Resiliency helps cities to become stronger,” she said. “Resiliency is like exercise. It takes time and effort.”

Another important problem was climate change.

“Calgary’s climate is definitely changing and we see it changing with increasing frequency and intensity,” said Dick Ebersohn, program manager for the climate change program.

“Climate change means that we want to minimize our impact.”

Climate Adaptation: Dick Ebersohn, program manager of the climate change adaptation program, presents a speech on building climate resilience in the John Dutton Theatre in Calgary on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Alberta Professional Planners Institute hosted a presentation on resilience and sustainability in Calgary. (Photo by Namreen Khaliq/SAIT Polytechnic)
Climate Adaptation: Dick Ebersohn, program manager of the climate change adaptation program, presents a speech on building climate resilience in the John Dutton Theatre in Calgary on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Alberta Professional Planners Institute hosted a presentation on resilience and sustainability in Calgary. (Photo by Namreen Khaliq/SAIT Polytechnic)

He emphasized climate change as being an immense risk to the city.

“The top five risks in Calgary are climate-change related,” he said. “This is an increasing threat.

“Creativity becomes really important when thinking about resilience and collaboration is key here,” said Ebersohn.

Climate Crisis: Dick Ebersohn, program manager of the climate change adaptation program, presents a speech on building climate resilience in the John Dutton Theatre in Calgary on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Alberta Professional Planners Institute hosted a presentation on resilience and sustainability in Calgary. (Photo by Namreen Khaliq/SAIT Polytechnic)
Climate Crisis: Dick Ebersohn, program manager of the climate change adaptation program, presents a speech on building climate resilience in the John Dutton Theatre in Calgary on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Alberta Professional Planners Institute hosted a presentation on resilience and sustainability in Calgary. (Photo by Namreen Khaliq/SAIT Polytechnic)
About Namreen Khaliq 4 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Namreen Khaliq is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2016-17 academic year.

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