Infrastructure for Resilience Project Overview:
Trillions of dollars will be spent in the U.S. and globally during the next 25 years to build infrastructure to last 75+ years, yet conventional infrastructure design may not be adequate for the needs of the next century. Conventional infrastructure planning, when it considers climate change, typically involves “hardening” against vulnerabilities of various kinds. But climate change and other forces will bring long-term changes to the society, the economy, and the built environment beyond creating vulnerabilities. Because infrastructure is designed to last a long time, planning ought to be flexible in looking toward what the needs of future generations might be. The world of the next century will be much different from our own. It will include adaptation to climate change’s many effects; reduced use of fossil fuels and of many natural resources; and most of all, human resilience. The built environment will work differently, and infrastructure will need to serve it.
To plan for the design, financing and construction of infrastructure with those implications in mind requires a gathering of expert opinion, international examples and creative thinking. We at the Institute will do that, and make use of our long track record of practical implementation. In a multi-year project, we will provide Research to identify best practices, tools to Engage decision-makers, Recommendations for action, and will help Create on-the-ground prototypes which test how people in cities interact with innovative technologies and structures in the real world. Crucial and capital-intensive decisions about infrastructure are being made now, which will need to serve future generations. Our project will provide the information, assistance and real-world evaluations to guide the best decisions.