Measuring the oil vulnerability of Canadian cities

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Availability of cheap oil has allowed cities to maintain a certain standard of living and growing dependence on it makes cities vulnerable. Oil is a finite resource that will reach its peak production level then decline. The impacts of oil depletion on cities and its consequences to human existence are therefore inevitable. Adaptation of cities to a potential future when cheap oil is no longer the norm is an important urban policy and little is known about the vulnerability of urban areas. This study attempted to measure the vulnerability to oil prices of 14 census metropolitan areas in Canada representing its large and mid-sized cities. The goals are to raise public awareness, stimulate more research, and to provide baseline information. A composite indicator of social vulnerability from a set of indicators was constructed which revealed that Calgary is the least vulnerable and Saint John’s as most vulnerable to oil prices.

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Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)