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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-12
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-12
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  10 Mar 2020

10 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Towards Resilient Vital Infrastructure Systems: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Research Agenda

Seyedabdolhossein Mehvar1, Kathelijne Wijnberg1, Bas Borsje1, Norman Kerle2, Jan Maarten Schraagen3,4, Joanne Vinke de Kruijf5, Karst Geurs6, Andreas Hartmann7, Rick Hogeboom2, and Suzanne Hulscher1 Seyedabdolhossein Mehvar et al.
  • 1Department of Water Engineering and Management, University of Twente, 7500 AE, Enschede, the Netherlands
  • 2Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, 7500 AE, Enschede, the Netherlands
  • 3Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social sciences, University of Twente, 7500 AE, Enschede, the Netherlands
  • 4TNO Earth, Life, and Social Sciences, 3769ZG, Soesterberg, the Netherlands
  • 5Departmentof Civil Engineering, University of Twente, 7500 AE, Enschede, the Netherlands
  • 6Facultyof Engineering Technology, Centre for TransportStudies, University of Twente, 7500 AE, Enschede, the Netherlands
  • 7Department of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Twente, 7500 AE, Enschede, the Netherlands

Abstract. Infrastructure systems are inextricably tied to society by providing a variety of vital services. These systems play a fundamental role in reducing the vulnerability of communities and increasing their resilience to natural and human-induced hazards. While diverse definitions of the resilience engineering concept exist for the infrastructures, analysing resilience of these systems within cross sectoral and interdisciplinary perspectives remains limited and fragmented in research and practice. This review synthesizes and complements existing knowledge in designing resilient vital infrastructures with the aim to assist researchers and policy makers by identifying: (1) key conceptual tensions and challenges that arise when designing resilient infrastructure systems; (2) engineering and non-engineering based measures to enhance resilience of the vital infrastructures, including the best recent practices available; and (3) opportunities for future research in this field. Results from a systematic literature review combined with expert interviews are integrated into a conceptual framework in which infrastructures are defined as a conglomeration of interdependent social, ecological, and technical systems. Our results indicate that conceptual and practical challenges in designing resilient infrastructures continue to exist, hence these systems are still being built without taking resilience explicitly into account. A review of available measures and recent applications shows that these measures have not been widely applied in designing different systems. To advance our understanding of the resilience engineering concept for infrastructure systems, main pressing topics to address evolve around the: (i) integration of the combined social, ecological and technical resilience of infrastructure systems, focusing on cascading effects of failures and dependencies across these complex systems; and (ii) development of new technology to identify the factors that create different recovery characteristics for these socio-ecological-technical systems.

Seyedabdolhossein Mehvar et al.

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Seyedabdolhossein Mehvar et al.

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Short summary
This review synthesizes and complements existing knowledge in designing resilient Vital Infrastructure Systems (VIS). Results from a systematic literature review and expert interviews indicate that: (i) VIS are still being built without taking resilience explicitly into account; and (ii) measures to enhance the resilience of VIS have not been widely applied in practice. Main pressing topic to address is the integration of the combined social, ecological and technical resilience of these systems.
This review synthesizes and complements existing knowledge in designing resilient Vital...
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