Toronto has appointed Elliott Cappell as its first chief resilience officer (CRO). Cappell will lead resilience-building efforts across the city to prepare for catastrophic events and other stresses.
It’s expected the role will “break down barriers in government” and oversee initiatives designed to address major urban challenges.
“Toronto is a diverse, dynamic and growing city,” he said. “I am thrilled to become the City’s first Chief Resilience Officer and am excited to begin working with City Council and staff, residents, businesses and community stakeholders on a strategic action plan for resilience.
Toronto was selected from almost 1,000 cities that applied over the last several years to be part of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC). Cappell will collaborate with other 100RC cities around the globe and access 100RC tools and services. The position is fully funded by 100RC.
“Toronto needs to be ready to meet unexpected challenges, such as the recent flooding caused by rising water levels in Lake Ontario, as well as the everyday stresses facing our growing city, including lack of affordable housing, overtaxed transit systems and the costs associated with aging infrastructures,” said Mayor John Tory.
Toronto’s plan will focus on social issues such as housing and transit and build on work already underway through Toronto’s climate resilience and TransformTO initiatives.
A Toronto native, Cappell was head of climate change strategy at Adam Smith International for the past 12 years. He has also consulted for the World Bank and the United Nations and was the senior advisor on strategic policy to the Government of Ontario.