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Publication Overview

Building a Climate-Resilient City: Disaster preparedness and emergency management

This policy brief examines the potential implications of climate change for disaster preparedness and emergency management in Alberta’s cities, and presents options by which the resilience of these systems may be enhanced. 

Key Messages

  • Projections for more intense and frequent extreme weather events need to be integrated with disaster and emergency management planning.
  • Contingencies for spare capacity and flexibility to deal with climate hazards occurring simultaneously or in quick succession need to feature in disaster and emergency management planning.
  • Strategic investments in disaster prevention measures, including climate-resilient green infrastructure and updated building codes, will provide significant long-term cost savings and social benefits.
  • Continuous outreach and engagement processes can ensure that citizens prepare for and can respond to climate-related disasters.

The Building a Climate-Resilient City series was prepared for the City of Edmonton and the City of Calgary by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the University of Winnipeg. This series looks makes recommendations for steps that cities can take as part of their municipal adaptation planning to build their resilience to climate change. It explores three key principles of resilience building: robustness (strong design), redundancy (building extra capacity into systems to act as fail-safe networks) and resourcefulness (citizen empowerment).