Resilient Willoughby

In recent months Sydney has been affected by severe storms, record-breaking drought and heat, major bushfire risks, hazardous smoke pollution and most recently, the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of these events were of unprecedented severity and demanded an exceptional response from government, business and the community. The social, economic and environmental consequences of these events will be felt for some considerable time. Due to the growing impacts of climate change, we can expect that many of these events will be repeated in the near future, with increasing intensity. We are experiencing a “new normal” which we need to understand and adapt to, in order to survive and thrive in the 21st century. 

Willoughby Council is committed to working with its community, government partners and stakeholders to improve our resilience to the challenges which lie ahead.

What is city resilience?

City resilience is "the capacity of individuals, communities, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and thrive, no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience” - Resilient Sydney Strategy, 2018

Chronic stresses weaken the fabric of society and people’s ability to cope with life’s challenges over time. They include transport stress, unaffordable housing, family violence, climate change, economic downturns, mental health challenges, social isolation and lack of community connections.

Acute shocks are sudden, short-term events that threaten a city and some people’s own security. They include major storms, extended heatwaves, disease pandemics, bushfires, infrastructure failures (e.g. roads, power), cyber attacks.

Resilient Willoughby Plan

Willoughby City Council is developing a Resilient Willoughby Plan to better equip residents, businesses, institutions, infrastructure and the environment to withstand the shocks and stresses which are impacting on our city and way of life. The plan will assess our community’s vulnerabilities and strengths and develop a prioritised set of actions to strengthen our ability to cope with adversity, embrace the “new normal” and thrive over the short to long term.

This planning will enable us to respond better to shocks and stresses and improve our ability to manage resulting impacts on people and the environment. The plan will identify opportunities to manage our future in a better, more sustainable way. If our community is well organised, cohesive and connected, it is stronger.

We will work closely with our community, partners and stakeholders at every step in the process, listen to their ideas and build our collective strength to cope with an uncertain future.

For more information, contact our Resilience Specialist at