by Tom Cull

Rip out the ornamental pears—
plant apples, pawpaws,
dill, and fennel.
Rip out ornamental dams,
let the river flow, flex
wavy-rayed lamp muscles,
soft-shelled turtles.
Rip out parking lots, build
flex streets, piazzas, bike lanes;
when you are holding a wrecking ball
everything looks like a bog, a garden,
a fat orange harvest moon.

We prepare for the future
check the weather,
test the alarms,
but we know that for many
the future is here—it is the end times.
Survivors make tents
out of old tarps, share food,
medicine, stories, strategies,
carry can openers,
huddle under bridges.

We drive by—they
absorb our shocks and stresses;
rivers absorb our shocks and stresses.

What we can learn, from an Osprey’s nest, a beehive,
from one hand held out to another,
from a neighbor shoveling out a neighbor’s walk,
from over 10, 000 years of wisdom, teachings,
before boats ferried extraction across the ocean,
before colony dug is boot into the turtle’s back.

Future shocks and stresses—
batten down the hatches
sure, we must, but
remember apocalypse
means “uncover, reveal.”
The end is a revelation;
a flood can also baptize—
It’s time we get to work.

Resilient Cities Conference: Preparing London for a rapidly changing future

In the context of urban environments, resilience can be defined as the capacity of individuals, neighbourhoods, businesses, institutions, and cities as a whole to bounce back and even become stronger after acute events such as hurricanes or chronic stresses such as smog.

The Resilience Cities Conference will explore how London can build adaptive capacity to weather the “storms” of this new century by inviting cutting edge thinkers from our city and beyond. Participants will be challenged to consider the changes they can initiate in their personal and social spheres of influence. We hope that the conference will mark the beginning of a long journey for London as it transforms itself into one of the most resilient and sustainable cities in Canada.

This conference happened onSaturday November 18th 2017, 9-4pm at the Central Library, 251 Dundas St. London Ontario.

Over 250 Londoners attended the conference and enjoyed a variety of workshops which are listed below.


See full descriptions of each workshop here: Resilient Cities  Workshop Descriptions 

Resilient Cities Conference – Code of Conduct

Partners & Organizers:


Advisory Committee on the Environment – City of London