The influence of critical infrastructure interdependencies on post-disaster reconstruction: Elements of infrastructure interdependency that impede the post-disaster recovery effort

Mulowayi, Erica, Coffey, Vaughan, Bunker, Jonathan M., & Trigunarsyah, Bambang (2015) The influence of critical infrastructure interdependencies on post-disaster reconstruction: Elements of infrastructure interdependency that impede the post-disaster recovery effort. In Raidén, Ani & Aboagye-Nimo, Emmanuel (Eds.) Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference, University of Reading, Lincoln, UK, pp. 135-144.

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The importance of developing effective disaster management strategies has significantly grown as the world continues to be confronted with unprecedented disastrous events. Factors such as climate instability, recent urbanization along with rapid population growth in many cities around the world have unwittingly exacerbated the risks of potential disasters, leaving a large number of people and infrastructure exposed to new forms of threats from natural disasters such as flooding, cyclones, and earthquakes. With disasters on the rise, effective recovery planning of the built environment is becoming imperative as it is not only closely related to the well-being and essential functioning of society, but it also requires significant financial commitment. In the built environment context, post-disaster reconstruction focuses essentially on the repair and reconstruction of physical infrastructures. The reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts are generally performed in the form of collaborative partnerships that involve multiple organisations, enabling the restoration of interdependencies that exist between infrastructure systems such as energy, water (including wastewater), transport, and telecommunication systems. These interdependencies are major determinants of vulnerabilities and risks encountered by critical infrastructures and therefore have significant implications for post-disaster recovery. When disrupted by natural disasters, such interdependencies have the potential to promote the propagation of failures between critical infrastructures at various levels, and thus can have dire consequences on reconstruction activities. This paper outlines the results of a pilot study on how elements of infrastructure interdependencies have the potential to impede the post-disaster recovery effort. Using a set of unstructured interview questionnaires, plausible arguments provided by seven respondents revealed that during post-disaster recovery, critical infrastructures are mutually dependent on each other’s uninterrupted availability, both physically and through a host of information and communication technologies. Major disruption to their physical and cyber interdependencies could lead to cascading failures, which could delay the recovery effort. Thus, the existing interrelationship between critical infrastructures requires that the entire interconnected network be considered when managing reconstruction activities during the post-disaster recovery period.

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ID Code: 87791
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: post-disaster recovery, critical infrastructure, infrastructure interdependency
ISBN: 9780955239090
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2015 00:39
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 22:02

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