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The modern society is increasingly dependent on transportation networks for its daily activities. The ability of the transport system to function during adverse conditions and quickly recover to acceptable levels of service after an extreme event is fundamental to the wellbeing of people within society. The current increased focus on resilience is driven by a raised awareness of extreme events due to natural hazards such as, heat and cold waves, river and coastal floods, droughts, wildfires or windstorms, where climate change also affects the severity and frequency of these events; and man-made events such as accidents, man-made fires and terrorism. These comprise most extreme situations, both natural as well as man-made, which cannot be anticipated solely based on conventional risk forecasting methods. Sudden events' response implies annual expenditures in the EU+ critical infrastructures of €0.8 billion and are expected to increase up to €12 billion by the end of this century[1]. Similar rates could be considered according to EU cohesion policy funds; studies indicate that annual damages to EU regional infrastructures will rise from €146 million /year to €556 million/year by 20201. The World Economic Forum strongly recommends investment in predictive (or condition-based) and Risk-based (or reliability-centered) maintenance[2] as a strategy to optimize infrastructures condition. In terms of human lives, a recent study published by the Directorate for Sustainable Resources of the EC JRC estimates that 152,000 deaths a year could be caused by weather-related disasters in the last quarter of the 21st century if there is not improvement in the policies that contribute to reduce the impact of extreme weather events[3].


[1] Forzieri, G., Bianchi, A., Marin Herrera, M.A., Batista e Silva, F., Feyen, L. and Lavalle, C., 2015. Resilience of large investments and critical infrastructures in Europe to climate change.EUR 27598 EN. Luxembourg (Luxembourg): Publications Office of the European Union.

[2]WEF (2014).Strategic Infrastructure Steps to Operate and Maintain Infrastructure Efficiently and Effectively.Geneve.

[3]Forzieri, G., Cescatti, A., e Silva, F. B., & Feyen, L. 2017. Increasing risk over time of weather-related hazards to the European population: a data-driven prognostic study. The Lancet Planetary Health, 1(5), e200-e208.​


Dr. Belén Riveiro
University of Vigo
School of Industrial Engineering, Universidade de Vigo
CP36310, Vigo, Spain
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