Resilientville Canada Role Playing game 

Resilientville Canada is a role-playing exercise that advances participant awareness of the short and long term benefits of problem solving at the neighbourhood level. Players are asked to take off their professional hats and to adopt the profile of a neighbourhood stakeholder. They must stay in character as they respond to a challenging scenario that is familiar to many towns and cities and is often contentious. 

When an unanticipated and extreme natural event suddenly occurs, players find that they have developed crucial relationships which, over time, strengthen their ability to respond to unforeseen challenges and opportunities. 

Resilientville Canada comes in three editions: 

    • Flood
    • Wind Storm
    • Earthquake

Resilientville Canada Asset Mapping

Players work with large format maps of their neighbourhood: Using local knowledge along with their online devices, participants are asked to map the resources, assets, people and organizations that could make up a community emergency response and contribute to resilience — BEFORE disaster strikes.

Both Resilientville games were developed by San Francisco's Neighbourhood Empowerment Network:

To see Resilientville Asset Mapping in action:

Some History

CREW has convened both Resilientville Role Play and Resilientville Asset Mapping since 2015. Weve played the games in venues that range from the grand ballroom at Torontos Royal York Hotel to the basement of St. Johns Evangelical Church in Hamilton, Ontarios downtown. 

Players have included community residents and community groups, politicians, municipal and provincial government employees, corporate intreprenuers, faith groups, social entrepreneurs, high school students, graduate students NGOs and more.

The Game

Facilitator Package and Train the Trainer

Resilientville Canada is a paper based, role playing game. Players experience first hand the importance of planning ahead for climate hazards, risks and impacts. Central to their planning is the forging of social networks and communications channels that become critical in an emergency. Players also come to understand the important roles that ordinary community members play in enhancing the work of official first responders. The game is an excellent introduction to the issues for those who wish to design a community resilience action plan.

The facilitator package that comes with Resilientville Canada is very detailed. But most newcomers to the game say that it is more complicated than it first appears and appreciate a Train the Trainer workshop before convening the game for their communities. Please contact CREW for workshop fees. These are offered on a sliding scale according to need.

Courtney den Elzen, TRCA - Role Playing Train the Trainer:

"It was a pleasure to work with you! Thank you for your wonderful guidance and support. Definitely wouldn't have been as smooth without you."


Engineers Without Borders:

The delegates gained insight into the dynamics of risk and were also quite surprised by the impacts of risk closer to their homebase. Awesome experience!

Town of Oakville/Halton Environmental Network:

I truly think playing Resilientville helped our community understand the need for engagement in our [community resilience hubs] project. 

Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning: Fourth year Sustainability Design:

timely and transformative.

John Godfrey, Former Special Advisor for Climate Change & Chair, Climate Action Group, Government of Ontario, Mar 2015 - Jun 2018 :

"CREW is demonstrating the crucial role civil society groups can play in mobilizing citizens to be better prepared for extreme weather events caused by climate change. The pioneering work of CREW will make a vital contribution to better understanding how we can reach out and engage all our citizens."


‘Resilientville’ as a tool for teaching and building community resilience

CREW has been introducing Resilientville Role Play and Resilientville Asset Mapping to university classes since 2016.

In 2018, a fourth year academic team explored the efficacy of Resilientville in demonstrating community resilience concepts through gameplay. This short paper will be of interest to anyone interested in evidence of the game’s results.

Levelling-up - ‘Resilientville’ as a tool for teaching and building community resilience 2018_2019