top of page


Event Details

DATES: April 16-17, 2018

LOCATION: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

VENUE: Victoria Conference Centre

Related Topics

Event Summary

Toward a Resilient British Columbia: Implementing strategies to reduce natural hazard risk in BC’s Built Environment

About Understanding Risk British Columbia 2018

UR+ BC built from the outcomes of UR+ Vancouver (March 2017) to focus on hazard mitigation and increased resilience in our province’s built environment.

This UR+ symposium assembles an interdisciplinary group to share knowledge and perspective on how to build long-term resilience to future hazard events and the impacts of climate change. Emphasis will be placed on seismic hazard, but there is a recognition of risks associated with wildfire, tsunami, flood and sea level rise and that a variety of these hazards need to be considered in the built environment in various regions throughout the province. Engineers, planners, and emergency managers will collaborate with developers, builders, investors and insurers to find solutions and drive change. Researchers, academics and scientists will support the dialogue to help shrink the gap between science, policy, and real-world action that builds resilience.

Insights and knowledge gained through the symposium will be shared with the BC community of practice— and to the broader global community through the World Bank’s Understanding Risk platform.

With a significant portion of our environment built after the introduction of seismic code, a changing hazard environment as as result of climate change and code requirements focused on life safety rather than business continuity/functionality, there is enormous scope for change.  Symposium workshops include topics such as:

  • What are the likely impacts and consequences of earthquakes, floods and fires in BC based on modelling efforts as well as recent, local, lived experiences?

  • How does the built environment play a role in our capacity to withstand and recover from natural hazard events?

  • How can we inspire the construction, infrastructure, and development sectors to reduce risk and build resiliently before events — and build back better after events?

  • What are the business opportunities presented by a comprehensive resilience strategy for our built environment that integrates energy, climate adaptation, and seismic mitigation policy and approach, along with consideration for affordability and heritage values?

  • How do we unite work on hazard mitigation materials and methods with environmentally-friendly building innovations?

  • How can we ‘skill up and scale up’ in the construction and allied sectors for increased uptake of open risk assessment and performance-based designs?

  • How will future jurisdictional credit ratings be impacted by the level of natural hazard risk in the built environment?

About the Understanding Risk Community

The Understanding Risk (UR) Community is the pre-eminent platform for collaborating and sharing knowledge in the field of disaster risk assessment. Created in 2009 by the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the UR Community convenes every two years at the global UR Forum to showcase the latest innovations and build new partnerships to foster advances in the field. The UR+ Vancouver symposium is a spinoff event that is designed to maintain the spirit of the global UR forum at national, regional and local settings. Learn more.

​Schedule and Program

View the detailed schedule and program here:

Event Sessions


Kickoff Plenary: Understanding Natural Hazard Risks and Risk Reduction Potential in BC’s Built Environment

Opening Plenary: Fast-tracking Resilience from Idea to Reality via Risk-Based Finance and Incentives

T1. Reducing Risk and Building Resilience in BCs Existing Building Stock is Big Business: Exploring Opportunities for Synergistic Retrofits

T2. Archipelagos Not Islands: Linking Resilience of Buildings with Infrastructure Lifelines

T3. Building Back Better: The Construction Sector as Essential Responders

T4. Resilient New Buildings: Low Carbon, Performance-Based and Multi-Hazard Designs in a Changing Climate

T5. Let’s Not Make Tsunami BC’s Blind Spot

T6. Geographies of Opportunity: Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction

Closing Plenary: A Regional Resilience Hub? Using Climate Projections, Big Data and Dynamic Risk Models to Inform and Enhance our Risk Reduction Planning, Early Warning Systems and Response and Recovery Efforts

Continuing Professional Learning

Understanding Risk BC 2018 is eligible for Professional Learning Credits:

  • Architectural Institute of BC (AIBC) members are eligible for self-reported professional learning credits for this event.

  • Engineers and Geoscientists BC recognizes one hour of activity at the symposium as one professional development hour.

  • Planning Institute of BC (PIBC) and Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP): 3.0 Organized/Structured CPL units on April 16, 5.5 Organized/Structured CPL units on April 17 or a total of 8.50 Organized/Structured CPL units


Hotel rooms and preferred rates are offered at the Marriot and Fairmont Empress. Attendees who wish to book through Marriot can book individually by calling reservations toll-free at 1-888-236-2427 and asking for the BC Construction Association group rate or booking online here.

Registration Fees and Volunteers

The Understanding Risk Community is underpinned by the principle that events should be open and accessible to all. Please contact the organizers if you would like to request a waiver for registration fees and/or would like to volunteer in place of paying the registration fee. We are seeking volunteers to assist with registrations, note-taking and other event- related tasks.

April 16 & 17, 2018 at the Victoria Conference Centre

bottom of page