Flood Resilience for the TRANsport Sector (FR-TRANS)
GW4 community leads
University of Bristol: Maria Pregnolato (PI),
Cardiff University: Reza Ahmadian, Man Yue (Arthur) Lam
University of Exeter: Barry Evans, Albert Chen, Slobodan Djordjevic
The project aims at establishing a community around urban resilience to climate, looking at addressing current gaps in assessing and reducing flooding impact to transport networks.
The scale, frequency and severity of natural disasters have risen progressively over the last 20 years, and it is likely to increase due to rapid urbanisation and climate change. At present, flooding and weather-related hazards affect the greatest number of people (2 billion between 2000 and 2009) worldwide; global losses over the same period averaged US$100 billion per annum. The rapidly escalating cost of disasters is an increasing cause for concern for governments, but the true costs of a disaster are felt most acutely at community level and are determined by the community’s ability to absorb the impact and recover after the event. Increasing the resilience of infrastructure reduces the
impact of natural hazards and enhance the ability to recover, since infrastructural systems are the backbone of contemporary societies. Investments in resilience is more cost-effective long-term than dealing with the consequences of natural hazards; however, few measures have been implemented so far in cities.
The research gaps that underpin urban resilience are too complex to be tackled by a single individual or institution alone; on the contrary, when these questions are addressed by a team, the potential for impact is very high. The proposed Community targets infrastructure resilience and extreme events, strategically fitting the research gap around risk assessment and response for floods. This topic is important because decision-makers (such as Bristol City Council or Pakistani authorities) are asking for tools designed to improve resilience, by shifting the emphasis on anticipation, preparedness and recovery. The proposed Community will deliver a specific piece of research which demonstrates how this can be achieved, and potentially transferred to more contingencies within a larger programme.
The Community and the proposed study will be beneficial to governments and societies, as well as to the academic community working on disaster risk reduction.