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Protecting Cities’ Critical Assets

Protecting Cities’ Critical Assets

As cities grapple with urban growth and climate change placing more people and economic activity in harm’s way, the resilience of critical infrastructures, and of the assets that make up these infrastructures, is coming increasingly under the spotlight. However, this is a complex issue, and not all its dimensions are well understood.  Cities can be thought of as “systems of systems”, where energy, water, communications, transportation, healthcare, law and order, data, and other physical systems (not to mention social, political and economic systems) interact. From this perspective, many issues arise.

Some countries and cities can identify their critical systems and assets, but very few can identify how they are linked to each other. As a result, they have no way to identify and manage the associated inter-dependencies. In many cases, as with the grid failure example, the existence of these linkages may not even be fully understood by all the entities affected, and accordingly come as a highly unwelcome surprise. Achieving critical infrastructure resilience therefore requires investing time and effort to identify and maintain relevant and up-to-date data on these linkages.

Future Analytics Consulting (FAC) is coordinating a H2020 EU funded RESILENS Project, called RESILENS (http://resilens.eu/) is preparing a European Resilience Management Guidance Approach for the protection and enhancement of Europe’s critical infrastructure, which has informed the “Protecting Cities’ Critical Assets” discussion. To read the full article on Protecting Cities’ Critical Assets  and for further information on the EU RESILENS Project please visit our website www.futureanalytics.ie or contact Dr. William Hynes (william.hynes@futureanalytics.ie).