Valuing Urban Resilience

The Canadian Urban Institute has announced this +PLACE MAKER session on, sponsored by BOMA Canada, that will explore the latest thinking on how and what is being done to protect Canada’s infrastructure in the face of climate change. The event is moderated by Peter Halsall, P.Eng, Executive Director, Canadian Urban Institute, and a keynote presentation will be given by Alexander H. Hay, C.Eng., P.Eng., FICE, FInstRE, Principal, Risk, Resilience & Security Planner, Southern Harbour. An expert panel is comprised of: Dr. Blair Feltmate, Intact Chair, Climate Change Adaptation, University of Waterloo; Thomas Schmidt, P.Eng., Commissioner, Transportation and Environmental Services, Region of Waterloo; and Tania Caceres, Principal, Risk Nexus. John Smiciklas, Director Energy & Environment, BOMA Canada, will offer closing remarks.

The session takes place on Friday, April 24, 2015 at Cara Commons, 7th floor of the Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto. Registration begins at 8:00am, followed by opening remarks at 8:30am.

Moderator Peter Halsall, P.Eng, joined the Canadian Urban Institute as the Executive Director in 2013. He previously led the growth of Halsall Associates to a firm of more than 350 people located in eight offices across Canada. They had the largest team in Canada dealing with greening and renewing existing buildings. When the group was purchased by Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2010, he served as the Global Sustainability Lead. He sat on the Design Review Panels for the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto for five years each as the sustainability representative.

Keynote speaker Alexander H. Hay, Principal, of Southern Harbour Risk, Resilience & Security, developed his understanding of resilience through designing protection strategies for the British Army in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has converted the experience into working on resilient community projects for the British government and at the Centre for Resilience of Critical Infrastructure at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Blair Feltmate, Intact Chair of Climate Change Adaptation, and Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment, helps the insurance industry understand the risks created by climate change and develop plans for adapting to them. His prior experience includes being VP of Sustainable Development at the Bank of Montreal where he launched Canada’s first sustainable development-based family of pension funds. He had previously spent ten years developing sustainable development programs for multinational corporations.

Thomas Schmidt, P.Eng., Commissioner of Transportation and Environmental Services for the Region of Waterloo, has been helping the Region of Waterloo establish a reputation for innovative management practices in all aspects of regional infrastructure to meet economic, social and environmental imperatives.

Tania Caceres, Principal of Risk Nexus, has over 20 years specializing in the development and implementation of integrated risk management solutions for real estate investors. She spent over 10 years with Triovest Realty Advisors as the VP of Risk Management.

John Smiciklas, Director Energy & Environment at BOMA Canada, leads the BOMA BEST existing building environmental certification program (Canada’s largest green certification program for existing buildings). He has over 30 years of experience in the field of sustainability including a prior role as a Consultant with the UN Development Program and International Telecommunication Union.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit