Understanding Risk

Understanding Risk British Columbia 2018:
Implementing strategies to reduce natural hazard risk in BC's Built Environment

Date: April 16 & 17, 2018
Location: Victoria Conference Centre

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Towards a Resilient British Columbia

The UR+BC symposium marks the first time the construction industry is playing a leadership role in bringing together builders, designers, engineers, scientists, and policy makers to tackle the challenges of hazard mitigation and increased resilience in the industrial, commercial, and institutional built environment.

Reflective of BC’s continued leadership in preparedness and response for hazards of earthquake, fire, tsunami, and flood, participants at the UR+BC_Built Environment symposium will 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, with recognition of risks associated with wildfire, tsunami, flood and sea level rise. As one of the world’s extreme multi-hazard zones, mitigation and resilience issues in the built environment are relevant to every region of the province. 

Who Should Attend?

Engineers, planners, policy-makers 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.

Symposium Program & Schedule

Monday, April 16th
Symposium: 1:00PM - 5:30PM

Tuesday, April 17th
Breakfast: 8:00AM
Symposium: 9:00AM - 5:00PM

The symposium will feature 3 plenary discussions and six workshops. You can view the programs & sessions here. Topics include:

  • 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 industrial, commercial, and institutional 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?
  • 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?


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 industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) environment built after the introduction of seismic code, a changing hazard environment as result of climate change and code requirements focused on life safety rather than business continuity/functionality, there is enormous scope for change.

UR+ BC builds off the outcomes of UR+ Vancouver (March 2017).

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+ BC 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 at: https://understandrisk.org/

Continuing Professional Learning

Understanding Risk BC 2018 will be 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 Marriott and Fairmont Empress. Attendees who wish to book through Marriott 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

Tickets are available here. 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.


Sponsorship opportunities are available here. Please contact the organizers to learn more about these opportunities.

Our sponsors!



Jessica Shoubridge / MAP / Principal
Thrive Consulting / Climate and Resilience Planning

T: 604.902.3303
E: jessica@thriveconsulting.me