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Guiding Principles for the Nation's Critical Infrastructure

Guiding PrinciplesASCE sponsored an industry summit on December 8-10, 2008 at Lansdowne Resort, to identify content for a guidance document outlining key attributes required for successful, safe, resilient, and sustainable critical infrastructure systems. The document will assist in proactively preventing infrastructure catastrophes such as the levee failures in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina or the collapse of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis.

The summit fostered meaningful discussions and insights from experts with wide-ranging roles in critical infrastructure: financiers, elected officials, civil servants, infrastructure advocacy group members, news media, engineers, and others. Summit participants were actively engaged in discussions focused on developing and sustaining resilient infrastructure systems.

In support of the overarching guiding principle to protect public health, safety, and welfare, four fundamental guiding principles were developed:

  1. Quantifying, communicating, and managing risk.
  2. Exercising sound leadership, management, and stewardship in decision-making processes. 
  3. Employing an integrated systems approach. 
  4. Adapting critical infrastructure in response to dynamic conditions and practice.

These guiding principles are fully interrelated. No one principle is more important than the others and all are required to protect public safety, health, and welfare.

Read the full report.