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Infrastructure Resilience Conference 2018

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On the Allocation of Risks and Benefits to Infrastructure – Examples from Roads Exposed to Snow Avalanches

The Eastern Alps are an international transport corridor and therefore an essential component of the north-south transport connectivity in Europe. In this paper, we will address exposure, vulnerability and resilience of road infrastructure to snow avalanches in mountainous regions of Austria. Since the road network does not feature redundant elements at comparable economic efficiency, any interruption of the system leads to negative consequences on the transport flow and the accessibility of central places, which results in incommensurable consequences in terms of indirect losses. The aim of this paper is to present how critical infrastructures as well as communities in Tyrol relying on this infrastructure are vulnerable to and can be resilient against snow avalanche risk. The cascading effects between different sectors (industrial, infrastructural, societal, institutional, cultural, etc.) will be addressed in various case studies to allow cross-learning and cross-comparison of, for example, rural and urban areas as well as between different scales. Correspondingly, scale-specific resilience indicators and metrics were developed to tailor methods to specific needs according to the scale of assessment (micro/local and macro/regional) and the type of infrastructure. Besides, decisions on whom to protect differentiate between rural and urban local authorities or between different economic or cultural regions raises a central but barely discussed conflict. There are multiple and often contradicting concepts of justice, which differ in interpretations and policy direction of allocation and distribution of resources for hazard protection and mitigation strategies. The focus of this case study will be on resilience and decision making in the context of a large scale sectoral approach focusing on the transport infrastructure network. Based on simulation results an answer to the question of which assets (or rather which communities) should be protected against hazard events with highest priority will be given.

Martin Wenk
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
Austria

Sven Fuchs
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
Austria

Thomas Thaler
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
Austria

 

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