Resilientville Canada

All levels of government advise that we be ready to look after ourselves and each other for 72 hours following an emergency event. How many of us are prepared?

There are two Resilientville tools. Both of these demonstrate the importance of social networking and prior-planning in preparation for a community response to an emergency event.

The first is a role playing game that can be played in groups of eight to ten. It is a great way to introduce a variety of stakeholders to issues related to a community emergency response.

The second is an asset mapping exercise used to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your neighbourhood as you and your neighbours prepare for an emergency event.

Neighbourhood 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

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:

See it in action

The Game’s History

CREW has convened both Resilientville Role Play and Resilientville Asset Mapping since 2015. We’ve played the games in venues that range from the grand ballroom at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel to the basement of St. John’s Evangelical Church in Hamilton, Ontario’s 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.

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.

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.

Courtney den Elzen, TRCA – Role Playing Train the Trainer

Book a session

Please contact CREW for workshop fees. These are offered on a sliding scale according to need.

Resilientville Canada game logo


“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!”
Engineers Without Borders

“I truly think playing Resilientville helped our community understand the need for engagement in our [community resilience hubs] project.”
Town of Oakville / Halton Environmental Network

“…timely and transformative.”
Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning: Fourth year Sustainability Design

“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.”
John Godfrey, Former Special Advisor for Climate Change & Chair, Climate Action Group, Government of Ontario, March 2015 – June 2018


‘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.