As a coastal city, Vancouver’s future is strongly tied to both the Ocean and the Fraser River. In 2011, the Province of British Columbia advised municipalities to plan for 1 meter of sea level rise by 2100, and 2 meters by 2200 – Concretely, someone born today will experience a meter of sea level rise by the time they are 80 years old.
Sea level rise in Vancouver is such a concern that the City of Vancouver has released a leaflet explaining how the issue should be tackled. Beyond the usual scientific explanations, expert’s assessments and political commitments, the City insists on the reasoning that underpins the path forward: Adaptation and resilience.
In that case, how does resilience apply? It is the ability to recover from a disturbance, such as a flooding event, or withstand the ongoing pressures of sea level rise. “The more resilient our city is, the more it has the ability to maintain its normal patterns and functions”, affirms the City.
City dwellers are even called out while taking the metro: « By 2050, the sea levels have risen. Would you rather build higher dikes to fight it or develop underwater transipt technology to embrace it ? » Yeah, stressful call out when commuting early in the morning ! Still. It means that citizens are not only aware, but also involved.
And the good answer? Probably both: Higher dikes ? Resilience. Underwater transit technology? Adaptation.