Because of the increasing incidences of extreme weather and its sometime destructive impact on the nation’s infrastructure, a new report is emphasizing the need for a more coordinated resilience response.
The report, Planning for Infrastructure Resilience, published by the Chicago-based American Planning Association, notes that extreme weather is straining “aging facilities and systems,” adding that even new projects are now at risk if they are not “planned, designed, and constructed to account for climate-related stresses well into the future.”
Such planning is the offshoot of the critical infrastructure protection movement which, unlike previous disaster preparedness programs, does not specifically emphasize the safety and survival of people, but rather the critical infrastructure those people rely on.
In an APA press release on the study, it is noted that workable initiatives require a “good federal partnership that does not create greater risk and raises cost through faulty regulatory structures that fail to account for climate impacts.”
The report takes readers through the steps of extreme weather planning and preparation, with an emphasis on how “capital improvement plans, local regulations, and funding sources can help ensure that public infrastructure is resilient to flood and climate impacts for decades to come.”
Planning for Infrastructure Resilience is but the latest study in a rapidly growing field of scholarship looking at the vulnerability of the nation’s infrastructure to devastating weather events.
Virtually all of the studies have emphasized the need for public officials to coordinate with the separate entities that own and operate highways, railroads, and electrical systems, among other venues, to better plan for extreme weather infrastructure disaster.
By Garry Boulard