Critical infrastructure resilience matters, and will matter even more in future, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Nearly 62 million people were impacted by extreme weather events in 2018 (UN), and such events resulted in $215 billion in economic losses for the year. WEF therefore considers extreme weather to be one of the most significant global risks, and one that is highly interconnected with other risks (see graphic below, WEF).
As well as the news from Davos, the focus for the Resilience Shift in January has been on further collaboration and on our key tenet to learn by doing.
We agreed a new partnership with the UK’s Resilience First who amongst other activities recently held a Breakfast Briefing event on standards in resilience; that included speakers Dr Rob MacFarlane, Deputy Director of the UK Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Cabinet Office, and Caroline Field, Head of Resilience at Thornton Tomasetti. This links closely to our work led from Australia on incentivising resilience through government policy.
The work of ENCORE+ (ENgineering COmplexity REsilence) is closely aligned with the Resilience Shift. ENCORE is an EPSRC funded Network+ aimed at exploring complex engineering systems, and we were delighted to participate in their final event. This event explored a proposal to create a National Institute for the Performance and Resilience of Complex Engineering Systems and showcased ENCORE’s outputs over the last three years.
In California, our Technical Advisory Group hosted a round-table at the University of California Berkeley focused on city-scale modelling. This follows our previous round-table on ports and logistics last year.
Ports are critical to many global supply chains. We recently interviewed Clon Ulrick on the challenges he sees for the sector, while in February we kick off a number of workshops world-wide on the subject of global supply chains.
We’ve seen great progress on our Theory to Practice work on water (see our projects on Resilient Water Governance and Influencing the Water Sector and will shortly be sharing the first phase of outputs from work, jointly supported by the Resilience Shift and the Rockefeller Foundation, on water resilience in partnership with SIWI, OECD, 100 Resilient Cites and Arup’s water specialists.
This is captured in the City Water Resilience Approach which includes a diagnostic framework tool for cities to use, and the outputs of collaborative research including a literature review and city characterisation reports for Amman, Cape Town, Kingston-upon-Hull, Manchester, Mexico City, Miami, Rotterdam and Thessaloniki.
Subscribe to our blog to get news alerts for this and other outputs from the Resilience Shift. February will also see our third workshop on tools and approaches, after which we will share what we have learnt and use it to inform our decision-making about next steps.
Here are some of the things that have caught our eye this month:
- The ‘Handbook of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure’ is a recent publication that brings together current research on sustainable and resilient infrastructure.
- McKinsey and Company has stated that asset owners need to get involved now in terms of climate resilience, and have set out a number of actions in this review piece.
- Aecom’s recent ‘Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People’ series has considered the views of over 10,000 citizens from 10 major cities globally to understand how satisfied and engaged they are with their infrastructure.
- The Water Research Foundation has recently published research undertaken by Cranfield University on ‘Resilient Water Infrastructure: Current Understanding and Asset Needs’ that looked to identify existing resources, ongoing efforts, best practices, and potential partner agencies or organizations addressing infrastructure resilience in the water sector in the US.
- There’s a plan for the US Federal Highways Administration to publish a ‘Resilience Guidebook’ later this year – the FHWA has also published a short summary note on ‘Building Resilient Transportation’.
- The Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Programme has just published a synthesis report on ‘Resilience in Transportation Planning, Engineering, Management, Policy, and Administration’ that documents resilience efforts in transportation.
- Economist Intelligence Unit has undertaken a digital essay on ‘The critical role of infrastructure for the Sustainable Development Goals’ that includes discussion of the role of resilience.