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Infrastructure and Societal Resilience to Black Sky Hazards 2018

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Institution of Civil Engineers

1 Great George Street

London

SW1P 3AA

United Kingdom

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THE NEED FOR SYSTEMIC RESILIENCE TO BLACK SKY HAZARDS


Infrastructure systems provide a platform for societal and economic activity. They generate and enable a continuous flow of emergent desired outcomes (cascades successes) without which civilisation, as we know itcould not exist.

Modern infrastructure systems (MIS) comprise an increasingly interdependent web of infrastructure components (part, unit, sub-system or system), decision making processes (linked to planning, designing, procurement, ownership, operation, maintenance, management priorities, regulation, governance and investment) and the external environment. This interdependent web greatly enhances the scale and scope of outcomes enabled by MIS, whilst simultaneously magnifying the potential for disruption to MIS to trigger far reaching consequences across all infrastructure sectors, society and the economy (cascade failure).

Systemic Resilience to this type of cascade failure caused by disruption to MIS is therefore vital for a successful economy and society. The creation of (i) MIS resilient to any form of disruption to normal operations; and (ii) societal, community, institutional structures resilient to the impacts of infrastructure failure, must therefore be strategic priorities at all stages of the resilience cycle.

The near universal dependence of MIS on a continuous supply of electricity, typically sourced from a national power grid, and the potential for black sky hazards to cause national scale power outages of indeterminate duration not only greatly strengthen the case for (i) and (ii), they fundamentally change the terms of reference for resilience discourse. There is a fundamental discontinuity between the level of resilience needed during a short term localised event, and the level of resilience required during a black sky event.

Resilience to black sky hazards cannot be achieved solely by scaling up plans for short term localised power outages. However, the creation of systemic resilience to Black Sky hazards, will yield significant benefits for short, medium and long term resilience planning. Therefore, an approach focused on ensuring systemic resilience to Black Sky Hazards is required.

Building on findings from the first workshop in this series, (event report available). This workshop will bring together representatives from across infrastructure disciplines and related interdisciplinary fields to examine four themes of strategic significance to such an approach.

Workshop Themes:

Theme 1 – Minimum Service Levels and Recovery Frameworks – will focus on the operational and management challenges of sustaining, restoring and recovering infrastructure assets during a black sky event.

Theme 2 - Strategic Resilience Protocols – will focus on the people, plans, processes and procedures required to respond to a black sky event, and to what extent these can be developed prior to an event.

Theme 3 - Systemic Resilience a New Normal – will focus on the long term challenge of improving systemic resilience.

Theme 4 - Community Resilience and social capital – will focus on the role of community resilience and social capital, as essential complements to the infrastructure focused elements of resilience planning.

Confirmed speakers include:

Discussion Panel Chair Lord Martin Rees http://www.csap.cam.ac.uk/network/martin-rees/

Opening remarks Professor Brian Collins, Professor of Engineering Policy, Chairman UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) http://www.ukcric.com/


NB: Lunch and refreshments will be provided on the day.

Please contact natalie.pearson@sheffield.ac.uk should you have any queries about this event.

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Date and Time

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Institution of Civil Engineers

1 Great George Street

London

SW1P 3AA

United Kingdom

View Map

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