Calgary’s Resilience Journey
Situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Calgary is a relatively young city with a vibrant culture and economy. Home to the highest number of head offices per capita in Canada, the city also leads the country in many infrastructure and service areas. However, growth is dependent on the large cyclical economic swings that affect the oil and gas industry, which is a main driver of the local economy. As oil prices have fallen in the last year, job losses have risen, putting further pressure on Calgary’s ability to provide services for its citizens.
Calgary’s resilience in the face of natural disasters has also been tested in recent years. In 2013, flooding inundated the downtown core and residential neighborhoods along two rivers running through the city, resulting in the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history. In September 2014, unprecedented snow resulted in damage to 50% of the urban tree canopy.
The city has since undertaken a number of actions to address resilience, including establishing the Emergency Preparedness Initiative of Calgary (EPIC) to help the non-profit sector identify gaps in emergency responses, support business continuity planning, and seek opportunities for improvement and coordination.
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