It’s an interesting idea: someone whose job it is to actually test whether or not a project is resilient enough to meet the changing environmental issues that face municipalities, provinces and states right across North America. And whether the rules governing development in an area are actually up to the task.
Enter the resilience officer.
It’s a new position, a kind of devil’s advocate to look at current standards and practices, and point out where they might not be good enough anymore. And it’s getting more and more popular with towns trying to deal with the changing ground rules of things like climate change.
It addresses a crucial conflict of interest: developers want development, obviously, and so do municipalities. A growing tax base is a sign of a community’s success, and councils are often in the extremely difficult position of having to question projects that, electorally, they’d really, really like to have. A project can cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s, and yet still have fundamental flaws that can come back to haunt everyone from mayor to councillor to developer to homeowner.
The resilience officer asks “what if?”