Monday, January 25, 2016

Resilience at TRB

More from me on TRB, this time on the hot topic of resilience.  (A topic that is even hotter – not to mention colder – with the Blizzard of 2016.  First thoughts here.)

(TRB is shorthand for the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, a transportationpalooza held every January when 13,000 transportation professionals from academia, government, and the consulting world congregate in Washington, DC to share the latest research findings and best practices in the field. There are more than 3,000 sessions and presentations, and more than 2,750 papers, so any reporting has to be based on a very limited sample.)

The best session I attended on the topic was actually a summary of last September’s TRB conference (my posting here).  Six panelists gave very concise “key findings” and “short-term actions” presentations as rapporteurs on the six big thematic tracks of the conference.

Hopefully the entire summary will be generally available, but in the mean time I will give one (hopefully thought-provoking) key finding and short-term action for each.

Project-level adaption
Key finding: Acceptance of some flooding has become the norm.
Short-term action: “No regret” decisions can be made now.

Operations and maintenance
Key finding: Extreme weather events can have lasting impacts.
Short-term action: Include Maintenance personnel in asset management planning.

Institutional and cross-cutting initiatives
Key finding: Countries and regions are creating networks across disciplines and borders.
Short-term action: Promote collaboration.

Climate science and data
Key finding: Decision-making proceeds in the absence of perfect information.
Short-term action: Assemble multi-disciplinary teams early in the process.

Planning for climate change
Key finding: Remarkable progress has been made since 2008.
Short-term action: Need to make the business case for adaption decisions before disasters.

Resilience tools and technologies
Key finding: Most data sources developed for another purpose.

Short-term action: Incorporate key analytical steps into the decision-making process.

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