Resilience is already a hot topic in the commercial property sector, but planners, designers and builders are discovering that they need to expand their thinking about what it means.
“It’s time for all of us to broaden our concept,” said Mary Rowe, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI).
“The conventional idea is that resilience is about hardening buildings to withstand severe weather and the effects of climate change to make them more sustainable,” she said during a recent CUI panel discussion exploring disasters and civic emergencies. “But resilience is also about how we can modify and accommodate existing buildings to make them more useful to the people who use them in the 21st century.”
While the effects of climate change are extensive and increasingly require emergency responses, coping with disasters is only one aspect of resilience, agreed Daniel Aldrich, director of the security and resilience studies program at Northeastern University in Boston.