Interdependencies and Multi-Sectoral Climate Change Risk Management

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February 22, 2017

Presented by:

  • David MacLeod (Senior Environmental Specialist, City of Toronto)

The City of Toronto has been a pioneer in the field of municipal climate change risk assessment for a decade. Collaborative engagement of both internal and external infrastructure organizations that support “core functions” of Toronto has been essential to this groundbreaking work. Central to that thinking has been consideration of how sectors such as electricity, natural gas, district heating/cooling, roads, water supply, drainage, railways etc. are dependent on each other for ongoing operation. This creates a complex web of “interdependencies” that can break down when extreme weather causes damage to engineered systems not designed for this level of stress. Beyond climate stresses, factors of increasing population and infrastructure deficit may create a “perfect storm” and possible “cascade or domino failures”, which maybe mitigated by advance identification of key failure points of high dependency. This webinar provided an overview of how the City of Toronto has engaged internal divisions and external organizations, such as Toronto Hydro and other utilities, to better understand and manage climate risk.