Canadian cities – with Toronto leading the way – dominated a Grosvenor survey ranking 50 international cities according to their “resiliency”.
Cities were ranked with a long-term view, with resiliency a measure of both their “vulnerability” and “adaptive capacity”.
Vulnerability, defined as a city’s exposure to shocks in terms of both magnitude and frequency, was measured by looking at climate threats, environmental degradation, resources (particularly access to energy), infrastructure and community cohesion.
Adaptive capacity, or a city’s ability to prevent and mitigate serious threats, is a combination of governance (democracy, freedom of speech, community participation, transparency and accountability, and long-term vision), institutions, learning capacity, disaster and emergency planning systems and funding structures.
The three most resilient cities in the world, says the London-based international real estate development company, are all in Canada: Toronto first, Vancouver second, and Calgary third. They are closely trailed by several US cities, including Chicago in fourth place.
The research, which analyzed 50 global cities using more than 100 independently verified data sets, noted Canadian cities’ resource availability, good governance and planning.
Toronto also again placed high on the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s 2014 Global Liveability Ranking, placing fourth – a position it has held since 2009, when it moved up from its sixth place standing in 2008. The annual index ranks 140 global cities on 30 indicators across stability, infrastructure, education, health care, and environment categories.
Toronto was designated as one of four Canadian cities dominating the top five North American cities in a quality of living index companies use to help determine compensation for their employees working abroad: Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco. Globally, Toronto ranked 15th, just behind Ottawa at 14th.