Business Trends

Canada Is Home to the World's Most Resilient Cities, by Grosvenor

File Type: Free Content, Article
Release Date: April 2014
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The world’s three most resilient cities are all located in Canada, according to a new report from Grosvenor’s research group. Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary take first, second, and third place, followed by Chicago and Pittsburgh. The “Resilient Cities” report, released earlier this month, quantifies the resilience of 50 of the world’s top cities, taking into consideration their environmental and social vulnerability and adaptive capacity, and includes case studies of Vancouver, New York, London, Shanghai and Mexico City. “Canadian cities have a strong combination of low vulnerability and high adaptive capacity,” the report comments. “There is a high level of resource availability, and Canadian cities are well governed and well planned.”

Why is resilience important? “The ability of cities to thrive as centres of human habitation, production and cultural development, despite the challenges posed by climate change, population growth and globalisation, is determined by their resilience,” the report avers. U.S. cities, it notes, are relatively vulnerable to these challenges, but their capacity to adapt makes them fairly resilient; five U.S. cities (Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta) fall into the top 10.

Most European cities (including Amsterdam, Franfurt, London, Brussels, Paris, Munich, Vienna and Dublin) fall into the middle 20 cities, which have scores fairly close to the top 10. The weakest 20 cities, however, are considerably weaker than the top 30. Most of these are in emerging markets; eight are in the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), where “blistering economic growth has not fed through into the quality and long term resilience of these cities.” The five least resilient cities, all of which face significant challenges, are Dhaka, Bangladesh; Jakarta, Indonesia; Cairo; Manila, Philippines; and Mumbai, India.