“Don’t let a good disaster go to waste”: Investigating emergent desires for urban resilience at the City of Calgary

Date created: 
Urban resilience
Socioecological resilience
Urban politics
Disaster management
Calgary flood
100 Resilient Cities

This study is about urban resilience as an emergent concept at the City of Calgary in the wake of several significant crises. It looks at how the crises affected institutional operations, and whether the changes in operations principles conformed to a theoretically robust conceptualization of urban resilience. Using a mixed methods approach of document analysis and key informant interviews, I examine City staff’s desires for a more proactive approach to infrastructure and operations decision-making processes and identify major gaps and tensions in their understanding and use of urban resilience concepts. I present evidence that city staff’s vague resilience definitions and priorities conflict with other tensions within the bureaucracy and contribute to the justification and entrenchment of status quo operations. This research contributes to our knowledge of the challenges of navigating resilience concepts and planning for urban resilience at the municipal level.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Karen Ferguson
Meg Holden
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.