Smart & Sustainable Cities
Interdisciplinary Thinking in Extreme Events & Infrastructure Resilience
Densely populated coastal areas are globally exposed to some of the most hazardous impacts of changing climate. These areas encompass a vast economy and more than half of world’s population lives within 60 kilometers of a coast. Thriving coastal megacities host invaluable infrastructure systems that are either in place or planned for construction. Networks comprising of these systems are critical to our civilization and need a closer look in terms of their resilience against extreme events. The dramatic losses resulting from a series of natural hazards (e.g., Katrina in New Orleans, 2005 and Sandy in New York, 2012) prompted a new research focus looking into resilience of infrastructure against extreme events in coastal areas where these events are exacerbated by changing climate. This new focus in tackling one of the most compelling challenges of our time, requires collaboration between scholars from many different research traditions, including climate science, risk assessment, development, economics, and policy analysis and so on; since the problem is unprecedented, enormous and multi-directional. We are currently focusing on frameworks designed to establish such collaboration among civil systems engineering and economics domains. The objective is to be able to assess the status quo regarding resilience of critical interdependent infrastructures in coastal areas, investigate strategies enhancing resilience at infrastructure component and network levels, and produce results that spread across involved domains to advise the decision making processes related to infrastructures in coastal areas. Infrastructures are both perceieved as engineered civil systems contributing to the built environment and as facilitators of economic output with the services they provide.