Lilia Yumagulova

Study program:
Ph.D. Planning
Current affiliation:
University of British Columbia

Lilia addresses the challenge of increasing communities’ ability to withstand natural disasters, with a special focus on marginalized urban communities.

Lilia Yumagulova, 2008 Trudeau scholar, is a partnership development and research co-director for the Crisis Resilience Alliance at the University of British Columbia. Her current work focuses on disaster management, climate change adaptation, urban and regional resilience planning, and risk and crisis communication and management. Yumagulova has worked in media, government agencies, and NGOs in Europe and North America in the fields of disaster risk reduction, community resilience, and climate change adaptation. She is a director for the Canadian Risks and Hazards Network and the editor of HazNet, a general interest biannual publication that brings together the latest in research and practice to enhance resilience in Canada. 

Doctoral research

Resilient by design: The Role of Institutional Adaptation to Environmental Risk in Cities

Currently, cities are facing unpredictable environmental change and previous models designed around a linear understanding of change, as incremental and predictable, might not be flexible enough to withstand this challenge. Therefore, a new, fundamentally non-linear, way of dealing with change in cities is required. How can we plan for and manage resilient urban environments?

Lilia is interested in cities as complex adaptive systems, in natural disasters and in the ability of institutions to adapt to change. Her research explores potential applications of the 'resilience' metaphor to the urban context. Her particular focus is on the role of institutions in reducing/increasing risk and in developing an understanding of hazard mitigation practices as a cross-scale dynamic process between the natural and the build environment. Metro Vancouver is her laboratory in search for urban resilience.

Lilia Yumagulova is a PhD Candidate at the School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia where she is investigating regional planning for risks and disasters in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Lilia Yumagulova holds degrees in Engineering in Emergency management from Russia and a M.Sc. in Risk Analysis (King’s College London, UK).  Lilia's interdisciplinary academic path combines social science, public policy, international relations and planning. Throughout her academic career Lilia has researched and worked in variety of academic disciplines and institutions including the MUNK Centre, University of Toronto; York University; University College London, UK; Lund University,  Sweden and UFZ, Germany. Her work has been generously supported by the Trudeau Foundation, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, the British Council and the Swedish Institute along with numerous University-based scholarships.

Lilia has worked in media, government agencies and NGOs. In addition to being a Trudeau scholar, she is an Associate Faculty at the School of Peace and Conflict Management Royal Roads University and is a Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Fellow. Outside of academics, Lilia is on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Risks and Hazards Network where she leads the national student mobilization initiative. Lilia is a Member of the International Federation of Journalists, and is an international outreach coordinator for organizations working with orphanages, the indigenous population of Russia, and independent documentary filmmakers.

Experience as a Trudeau Scholar

The Trudeau scholarship experience is both empowering and demanding. Having received the scholarship, the recipient has everything a graduate student can wish for: a solid stipend to take away financial worries, a generous travel budget that allows for unique and original research experience and the connections and credibility of being a member the Trudeau Foundation. This also comes with a deep sense of responsibility to do meaningful and applicable work; to be a better researcher and a better global citizen.

I am grateful for the insightful discussions and the sophisticated intellectual tourism in which I’ve participated through the Trudeau foundation events and conferences. Throughout these events, I was introduced to a birds-eye overview of the political and intellectual landscape of Canada. At these events, I also got a glimpse and sometimes a tour through the backdoor of policy and decision-making at the national and international levels. As an International student and a newcomer to Canada, I cannot think of a better introduction to this country, its values and its intellectual and policy leaders, both past and present, than being a Trudeau scholar.