In 2021, Bruderheim’s Climate Resilience Action Plan was proud to be awarded Alberta's Minister’s Award for Municipal Excellence in the Smaller Municipalities category for leadership, resourcefulness and innovation. Each year, the award recognizes projects and partnerships across the province that advance municipal service delivery for the betterment of their communities. In highlighting these initiatives, communities across the province are given new pathways and ideas from which they can take inspiration or even replicate.
What Alberta municipalities can learn from one another is invaluable to safeguarding communities from extreme weather events, strengthening local economies, and leading in green technology adoption.
This principle of knowledge and process sharing is at the core of Resilient Rurals’ approach to resilience. The partnership was formed following Bruderheim’s participation in a Climate Resilience Express workshop with All One Sky Foundation, where a risk assessment for the Town was conducted. Taking the knowledge and priorities identified from the workshop, Bruderheim saw significant opportunity to create a regional plan, and invited other communities in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland who shared the same risks and priorities to create and implement a regional resilience plan together.
Conducting an environmental risk assessment isn’t a particularly novel idea—in fact, more and more communities across the country, big and small, are undertaking risk assessment projects as they prepare to adapt to their local climate change realities.
Resilient Rurals is a model for municipalities to expand the impact of community-level climate work to an entire region.
Expansion could look similar to the Resilient Rurals partnership, with similar-sized rural communities coming together to create a regional resilience plan, or it could look completely different—possibly a series of agreements among an urban centre and neighbouring towns to share emergency resources and climate adaptation expertise.
However the collaboration unfolds, thinking not only locally but regionally can accelerate the process of climate change adaptation and raise the capacity of Canada’s smaller communities. We encourage anyone working in climate adaptation to think about how collaboration could benefit your community and its neighbours.
From the publication:
2021 AWARD RECIPIENT Town of Bruderheim: “Climate Resilience Action Plan” To better prepare for the potential impacts of climate change, the Town of Bruderheim developed a Climate Resilience Action Plan, which identifies several anticipatory measures to manage priority risks and opportunities expected to result from climate change over the next several decades. The Town used this plan as a stepping stone to initiate the “Resilient Rurals - Regional Resilience Plan.” As part of this action plan, Bruderheim worked with the towns of Gibbons and Lamont to develop capacity for regional climate change adaptation and resilience. Through this partnership, Bruderheim was able to develop a small-town approach to addressing risks associated with climate change. The plan was built on the themes of flood management and drainage, infrastructure, ecosystems and natural areas, urban trees and landscaping, human health and safety, and agriculture and food security. The plan identifies measures to manage priority risks and opportunities expected to result from climate change over the next several decades. Each municipality’s risks and opportunities were assessed in relation to the environment and other factors, such as economy, infrastructure, communication, and emergency response. These assessments were examined to find shared risks and opportunities to capitalize on establishing a regional climate adaptation plan. The result was a unique adaptation plan with a small-town focus and a regional scope that identifies shared risks and opportunities for collaboration with neighbouring municipalities. The goal is to pool resources, determine common risks, and discover opportunities for support.