Monday, October 26, 2015

Another thing Denmark does well

Bernie Sanders may have drawn some chuckles for suggesting the US use Denmark as a model, but the fact is that the Danes get a lot right.  Sure, it’s a much smaller and in many ways less complex country, but Denmark – like much of Europe – is way ahead of us on many measures of societal and political progress.
A case in point is climate change adaptation on the roadway network.  The Denmark Roads Directorate has set out a clear policy direction in a Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change document (available here).   The main impact they anticipate from climate change is increased rainfall, leading to increased flooding events on the highway.  The planned response is straightforward:
·      Better manage flooding when it occurs, through rapid response, information, detours, etc.,
·      Improve the roads where incidents have occurred, and
·      Prevent future problems where possible, using the best available science to “climate proof” roads where it makes sense to do so.
This is really straightforward stuff, as it should be for an organization that owns and operates a highway network.  The Danish approach has proven so popular that the Danes are leading an effort among all the EU highway agencies to develop a standard climate change adaptation strategy. 

AASHTO are you listening?

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