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Policy Statement 500 - Resilient Infrastructure

 

Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on May 1, 2014

Approved by the Public Policy Committee on May 9, 2014

Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 13, 2014

Policy

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports initiatives that increase resilience of infrastructure against man-made and natural hazards through education, research, planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance.  Development of performance criteria and uniform national standards that address interdependencies and establish minimum performance goals for infrastructure is imperative. Furthermore, an all-hazard, comprehensive risk assessment that considers event likelihood and consequence, encourages mitigation strategies, monitors outcomes, and addresses recovery and return to service should be routinely included in the planning/design process for infrastructure at all government levels.  

Issue

Recent world events focused attention on infrastructure vulnerabilities.  The United States needs to provide for security, and in the event of damage, restoration of function for critical infrastructure.

An all-hazards, comprehensive risk assessment, including recovery and return to service, should be incorporated into planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance activities for infrastructure components.  New initiatives must be coordinated among federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Rationale

The civil engineering profession provides leadership for planning, designing, building, and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure. To achieve a goal of obtaining and maintaining a state-of-good-repair for all infrastructure at the lowest life-cycle cost, designers and planners are encouraged to incorporate system resiliency (the ability of a project or system to withstand and recover to full functionality from extreme events quickly and efficiently) into the decision-making process. The increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters as well as deliberate destructive events, combined with continually increasing population densities, reliance on technology, and interdependencies, have demonstrated vulnerabilities in the nation’s infrastructure. An important component of resilience is understanding the impact of the loss of infrastructure and the timeline and cost to restore its function following an extreme event. 

ASCE Policy Statement 500

First Approved in 2003

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