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Event recap: Smart Climate Resilience for Atlantic Canada

A promotional banner for the event Smart Climate Resilience for Atlantic Canada, hosted by CLIMAtlantic and Evergreen.
Kate DesRoches

October 16, 2023

On September 28, CLIMAtlantic co-hosted a workshop with Evergreen Canada’s Community Solutions Network. The hybrid event took place in Moncton and featured speakers on topics related to data and technology approaches to climate adaptation and resilience. The workshop also included a facilitated networking portion for municipal city staff and Indigenous leaders interested in these topics. Attendees presented briefly about their work, which sparked interesting conversations on topics such as nature-based solutions, drone monitoring for hurricane restoration, how to make data more accessible, and more!

 

There were four main presentations at the event, covering a variety of data- and technology-related adaptation projects as described in the following section.

 

Presentation 1: Welcome to SmartICE – Rex Holwell, SmartICE

Rex Holwell gave a presentation about SmartICE, a community-driven organization that gathers data on ice thickness using tools such as the SmartBUOY and the SmartQAMUTIK, and shares this data with Northern communities through avenues such as the SIKU app. This initiative helps provide access to potentially life-saving data to those who need it. SmartICE also provides youth training and support through their Employment Readiness and Technology Development Program, which aims to reduce barriers to education and employment and to act as a cultural space for youth.

Rex Holwell outdoors on a sunny day, performing data collection for ice thickness.

Presentation 2: Roadmap to Stormwater and Coastal Resilience in HRM – Victoria Fernandez, HRM

The second presenter, Victoria Fernandez, spoke about Halifax’s approach to climate adaptation planning. Halifax faces a variety of current and future climate hazards, including flooding, erosion, wildfires, and extreme heat. Furthermore, challenges such as data gaps, uneven social vulnerabilities, and historical settling patterns make adaptation more challenging. The city has been working to overcome these challenges through a series of steps to stormwater resilience, including launching the 2020 HalifACT climate action plan, reworking development standards, prioritizing green infrastructure, and undertaking flood mapping studies.

Victoria Fernandez smiles at the camera while sitting in a conference room.

Presentation 3: Geoportal – Leveraging climate in municipal decision making – Marcel Vienneau and Clément Mousset, Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick

Marcel and Clément delivered a presentation on AFMNB and CSRNO’s Municipal Geoportal project. The Geportal is a platform that facilitates the visualization of municipal infrastructure data, including tracking maintenance activities, costs, and operations. The goal of this project is to improve and streamline municipal asset management planning. The Geoportal will launch in November 2023, and involves the participation of 16 municipalities in New Brunswick.

Headshots of Marcel Vienneau and Clément Mousset.

Presentation 4: AI for the Resilient City – Josh Welch, Evergreen

The final presentation by Josh Welch from Evergreen gave an overview of AI for the Resilient City, a scalable data visualization and analytics tool that looks at urban heat islands and extreme heat. The tool can be used to visualize and map urban heat, as well as to show projections for future urban heat under different planning scenarios. So far, it has been used in Calgary, Toronto, and the Peel Region to inform the planning of public infrastructure projects, planning proposals, vulnerability initiatives, nature-based solutions, and more.

Mi’kmaw Moons

Mi’kmaw Moons

Alex Cadel, our Climate Services Specialist-Nova Scotia, explores the Mi’kmaw calendar from the perspective of the changing climate with data trend analyses relating to each moon.