Resilient Toronto: A Phrase to Get Used to

A recent announcement that Toronto has joined the 100 Resilient Cities network is a significant gesture for a city that hopes to be on the cutting edge of city development and growth.

This rings especially true when focusing objectively on Toronto’s transit network, and how far behind we have fallen in moving our goods and services, as well as ourselves throughout its bunged-up arteries.  Getting caught up in Toronto’s day-to-day grind can sometimes make us forget what makes our city great.  But 100 Resilient Cities, a non-profit organization, is optimistic about what our city has to offer.

So, what’s all the fuss about?

100 Resilient Cities is an organization that focuses on investing in cities considered to be leaders for innovation, in order to increase their capacity for resiliency.  Globalization, increased urbanization, and climate change all have had a compounded effect on how effectively and efficiently the modern city can function. By investing strategically – socially, economically, and environmentally, cities will be better equipped to deal with these trouble areas and create new opportunities in the process. Challenges are recognized as both acute – fires, floods, or earthquakes; and chronic – income inequality, crime, or inefficient public transit.

How does this help Toronto?

Being accepted into this prestigious organization potentially allows our city the tools and resources it needs to improve.  Toronto’s problem areas are recognized by 100 Resilient Cities, including aging infrastructure, a lack of affordable housing, poor public transit, infrastructure failure, social inequality, blizzards, floods, and heatwaves; and challenges the city to meet and improve upon these issues.   To do this, Toronto will receive financial and logistical guidance for new municipal policy in the form of a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), support from 100 Resilient Cities for the development of a resilience strategy, and access to a wide network of public, private, NGO and member cities who it can collaborate with, advise to, and learn from.  These tools will not only help cities and their residents to become more resilient, but will also facilitate a global understanding of resilience amongst leading stakeholders.

Toronto’s acceptance into the 100 Resilient Cities network may be a harbinger for its long-awaited maturation.  While far from perfect, Toronto is undoubtedly admired the world over for its livability – socially, environmentally and economically.  This most recent step is another sign that Toronto might just be ready to be taken seriously amongst the world’s most innovative.

To find out more about 100 Resilient Cities, click here.