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.
Meet the Chief Resilience Officer
Acting General Manager and Chief Resilience Officer
Chris brings 25 years of resilience experience to the City of Calgary. As Director of Resilience & Infrastructure Calgary, and the city’s CRO, Chris and her team are building the long-term investment and value strategy for a resilient Calgary. Chris was the Director of Recovery Operations following the 2013 Southern Alberta Flood, which required significant public evacuation, created critical infrastructure damage, and caused approximately $400 million in response and recovery impacts in Calgary.
Chris’s career experience includes leadership and collaboration in organizational resilience, infrastructure investment, land use planning, business plans and budgets, emergency management and public safety systems, and a variety of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts including flood, fire, infectious disease, and economic contraction.