Sifting for resilience gold, and more progress on water resilience

With news of the increasing water crises in Chennai, India, and in other major cities, the need to help cities to improve their water resilience is of critical importance for urban resilience. The Resilience Shift’s sector-specific activities to develop the City Water Resilience Approach (CWRA) are progressing at pace and with some very positive outcomes. The team recently spent time undertaking field work in Cape Town, with the intent of piloting and validating the CWRA on the ground. We have also been actively sharing and disseminating this work and the OurWater tool.

The balmy month of June also saw the Resilience Shift publishing further knowledge outputs from our work and attending a wide range of events to share and engage with others working actively in this field. We are increasingly finding more synergies across our work, and we continue to sift for resilience gold in terms of cross-output learning.

We want to equip practitioners with the tools, approaches and education that will enable them to put theory around critical infrastructure resilience into practice. Our work to date on tools and approaches has led to a number of outputs including the development of a resilience ‘toolbox‘. Critical reflection on this work by Peter Hall and Igor Linkov is complemented by insight into how the project was envisaged captured in an interview with Project Leader Áine Ní Bhreasail. Áine also ran a workshop that investigated resilience implementation issues at the 8th Resilience Engineering Association (REA)Symposium in Kalmar, Sweden, alongside The Schumacher Institute‘s Simon Gill and Mairi McLean.

Another area of Resilience Shift work is that to identify the key drivers and incentives of a shift towards critical infrastructure resilience in practice. Further outputs are now available from our activities in this space, including a short video exploring the journey to develop a successful industry rating scheme – taking the IS rating scheme developed by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia.  We know that the ISCA scheme is one of many in this space (SuRe, CEEQUAL, GRESB and others). Our interest in ISCA was because it is widely used in Australia from where our work on policy has been initiated. There is a definite relevance, however, beyond Australia for the lessons and challenges from the ISCA journey, including the time taken for it to become widely accepted.

We published two more of our resilience primers in June, authored by TRL, and looking at the road and rail sectors, based primarily on organisations in the UK and mainland Europe. These sector specific primers are intended to identify what good practice looks like at a fairly granular level, and what the drivers are in practice.  We are starting to see common themes emerging from this work that will allow us to draw evidence-based conclusions as to what matters across critical infrastructure sectors, and what could be transferred between sectors to ‘move the needle’.

Our third thematic area of work is around developing a common understanding of what we mean by the resilience of critical infrastructure, within and between sectors.  We have already learnt from our primers that some sectors are more mature than others in the approaches to ensuring their systems are resilient.  Having previously engaged with stakeholders from ports and logistics, and supported a primer authored by 427 on ports, we looked, in partnership with Arup’s supply chain and logistics group, at the resilience of food supply chains – a multi-sector, multi-stakeholder, global and complex system. Our focus was to understand the state of practice and understanding, specifically as to how the food supply chain globally views the resilience of the critical infrastructure it depends on. Our reports from this work comprise a full synthesis report and a factual report of the seven workshops held around the world. These highlight some of the common findings and the regional differences we found from this engagement. We recognise this is only a small part of the complex food system, and we’re excited to use this baselining study to plan what we might do next. Some of these findings were shared at the UK Ports Conference in June.

We’ve continued to disseminate the overall progress of the Resilience Shift, as well as the specific thematic activities described above. Jan Reier Huse from Lloyd’s Register Foundation, supporting the Resilience Shift, presented a paper in Kalmar on the overall programme and its progress.

Savina Carluccio, Project Leader, participated in the University College London (UCL) Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction Annual Conference which brought together UCL and guest experts for a day of thought-provoking talks and discussions about the latest research and issues in cascading and interconnected risk. You can see the poster here or download a pdf here Resilience Shift Poster June 2019.

Dr Juliet Mian, Technical Director at the Resilience Shift, gave a keynote address on the theme of putting theory into practice at the 4TU.Resilience Engineering DeSIRE conference whose theme this year was Building Connections for Resilience Engineering Solutions. Her presentation can be seen below.

 

Things we liked – June 2019

Here are the things that we liked this month:

  • An article in the Journal Elementa considers Infrastructure as a wicked complex process, and how our infrastructure needs to move away from solutions designed to meet specific technical performance measures, and instead should be satisfying to many stakeholders.
  • Brink News looked at what the world can learn from Finland’s brush with critical infrastructure failure. The article considers the lessons learnt from the Tapani storm that hit the country in December 2011 and that impacted its energy infrastructure.
  • Following a workshop in February 2019, the H2020 SMART Resilience project has published a report discussing the views from the insurance industry about the project, including key recommendations going forward.
  • The World Bank has published a number of reports around the topic of critical infrastructure resilience, mainly focused around energy infrastructure, that includes:
    • The report, Lifelines: The Resilient Infrastructure Opportunity, lays out a framework for understanding infrastructure resilience. It highlights that there is a net benefit of $4.2 trillion from investing in resilient infrastructure.
    • A background policy research paper to the above Lifelines report has looked at the lessons learnt from natural disasters, and future research needs around improving the resilience of critical power systems infrastructure.
    • The World Bank has also developed a primer on the vulnerabilities of networked energy infrastructure.
    • Stronger Power: Improving Power Sector Resilience to Natural Hazards is a sectoral note for the Lifelines report on infrastructure resilience, and investigates the vulnerability of the power system to natural hazards and climate change, and provides recommendations to increase its resilience
    • Finally, a cost-benefit analysis approach to strengthening new infrastructure assets has been published.

For more links on other things we like, please see our dedicated website page.

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