An Application of the Resilience Assessment Workbook on the Town of Caledon, Ontario, Canada: Resilience of What? Resilience to What? Resilience with What?
Liu, Wai Ting, Elizabeth
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This research involves conducting a resilience assessment on the Town of Caledon in southern Ontario, Canada, through the use of the Resilience Assessment Workbook authored by the Resilience Alliance. The purpose of the research is to develop a comprehensive understanding of Caledon, and identify ways to enhance its resilience as a linked social-ecological system in the context of urban growth. Urban growth pressures have brought multiple challenges to Caledon in land use, infrastructure maintenance, farmland preservation and watersheds conservation. Urban growth management in Caledon is situated in the provincial growth strategy for the Greater Golden Horseshoe areas in Ontario. Provincial legislation including the Places to Grow Act (2005), the Greenbelt Act (2005), the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act (2001) and the Provincial Policy Statement (2005) aim to reconcile the needs for population increase, economic growth and environmental protection. The results of the resilience assessment of Caledon consist mainly of a cross-scalar study and interviews with twenty-six community members. The cross-scalar study examines Caledon in its social, ecological and economic domains on the provincial, regional and municipal levels. The study also identifies potential resilience threats and assets of Caledon in the context of urban growth. Interviews have been conducted to verify and complement findings of the cross-scalar study. Interviewees include Caledon municipal staff, residents, environmental group leaders, politicians, an aggregates industry representative, a social services representative and a local property developer. The results of this research reveal resilience threats and assets in Caledon, and identify ways for the town to enhance resilience against urban growth pressures. Threats to resilience are found to be associated with urbanization, agricultural land loss, aggregates mining and a lack of affordable housing. Assets of resilience in Caledon are found to be related to civic engagement, participatory planning and agricultural diversification. Based on the cross-scalar study and interview results, emerging themes of resilience and recommendations are developed. Recommendations for Caledon to enhance its resilience include: promoting continual learning and adaptive governance; diversifying agriculture; providing affordable housing; treating urbanization as an opportunity; and developing trade-off principles for the implementation of an integrated plan for resilience.
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