The City of Toronto’s Resilience Office marked the culmination of a two-year process with today’s launch of the City’s first Resilience Strategy at the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty Building. As part of the 100 Resilient Cities network, Toronto joins more than 50 international cities that have developed strategies to address the array of chronic stresses and acute shocks experienced in today’s changing climate.
As the City’s Strategy Advisor, the Perkins+Will Toronto team was a key partner in Toronto’s strategy development process and supported a range of activities, including preliminary assessments of climate risks, engagement initiatives, research on community-led space activation, and overall policy development. The City’s Resilience Office intentionally built the Strategy as part of a collective effort, engaging dozens of partners and over 8,000 Torontonians in face to face conversations, over the phone, on social media, at City Hall, in libraries, in parks, and in people’s homes about resilience.
“Resilience offers a lens to examine the connection between seemingly disconnected issues,” said Paul Kulig, Principal and Strategy Advisor lead. “While other cities are experiencing the changing risks of hurricanes or sea level rise, in many ways Toronto’s greatest challenges are at the intersection of climate risks and inequity – challenges exacerbated by the immense growth pressures facing our city.”
The Toronto Resilience Strategy provides a hopeful vision for Toronto’s near and long-term future, and establishes a set of actions that promote a collective response on issues ranging from the health of Toronto’s 1,200+ apartment towers, food systems security, flooding, and ways to build trust in local government. Today’s launch marks the beginning of a long-term implementation effort, recognizing that resilience is a process that will require the City of Toronto and its partners to continuously adapt to new challenges as the city changes.
The Perkins+Will Toronto team remains committed to supporting this ongoing process, through research and practice. Together with our 23 global offices, the Toronto team is advancing the RELi Resilience Action List, adopted by USGBC in 2018. In addition to integrating resilience into every local project – from community architecture to neighbourhood studies – Perkins+Will Toronto continues to collaborate on the development of resilience strategies for the cities of Minneapolis (Minnesota) and Louisville (Kentucky), and looks forward to future conversations that strengthen community resilience.
Visit the City of Toronto’s website to learn more about the Resilience Strategy and strategy development process. For more information on the Perkins+Will Toronto team and ongoing resilience work, please contact Paul Kulig or Rebecca Ramsey.