Climate change is impacting Europe in many ways: storms, floods, droughts, fires and heat waves. As climate change progresses, extreme weather will become more frequent and intense in many regions. Our challenges to protect investments and assets will become greater. Learn what you can do to prepare and develop a tailored adaptation solution for your specific site’s conditions.
Topics and Speakers:
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Impact of climate change and extreme weather events on the interconnected critical infrastructure in Europe
- Why a taxonomy is useful?
- ‘Enhancing resilience of Critical Infrastructure to Climate Change’: the experience of the EU project EU-CIRCLE
- Application case on Disaster Risk and Resilience Assessment: the benefit of a systemic approach
The intervention from RINA will deepen the topic of climate change and extreme weather events with respect to their impacts on the interconnected European critical infrastructure (transport, energy, healthcare, etc.). A first topic discusses the benefits of having a proper, agreed and validated taxonomy as a mean to create a reference framework for liaising climate adaptation with infrastructure resilience.
The experience made in enhancing the resilience of Critical Infrastructure to Climate Change is then presented with a focus on the approach and outcomes of the EU funded EU-CIRLCE project.
Finally, how this systemic approach is translated to real case application is presented with the view of providing elements for replications and scalability.
Integrating adaptation and mitigation with engineering techniques to provide resilient and green infrastructure for industrial sites
Climate change and global warming are leading to extreme changes in frequency and intensity of general weather conditions such as rainfall, temperature and wind. As it is known, consequently, the modified environmental conditions with previous old strategies and design approach lead to extreme environmental loads such as storms, floods, droughts, urban heat island, gusts, flurry.
With a targeted design, problems related to climate change can be managed by applying both the concepts of adaptation and mitigation:
- adaptation approach: deep forecast and simulation/modeling, risk assessment and protection and prevention measures can strongly contribute in defining actions of resistance and active or passive reaction to damaging impacts and disaster events.
- mitigating approach: planning and designing by studying the causes and thus integrating low impact and environmental sustainability to tackle the causes and minimizing the possible impacts.
We combine these concepts with engineering techniques, in particular, in large and complex projects that can be a source of environmental and social issues, biophysical impacts, hydraulic risks for the site and the surrounding areas.
Specifically, looking at a case study in a glass manufacturing facility in the metropolitan area of Milan, the main environmental problems related to the new industrial center are:
- the site is an unused and contaminated area,
- the site needs a restoration and reconnection with the surrounding area from all perspectives: environmental, social, and urban; and
- large impervious area (35 ha) causing potential flash flooding (11 mc/s).
In this context, the use of gray infrastructures alone is not appropriate as their implementation would lead to unsustainable measures from an economic and environmental point of view with worsening of the LCA, for example for use of concrete and plastic.
We applied a low impact development and integrated design approach using sustainable urban drainage (SUDS) stormwater management to build a resilient and green infrastructure.
In addition to reducing the hydraulic risk, our approach will allow the restoration of a brownfield, mitigate the biophysical impacts and at the same time will be able to regenerate a new ecosystem, by increasing biodiversity, improving people's well-being and their living environment with the construction of a new park.
Leveraging weather forecasts to protect assets and operations in a changing climate
A changing climate is shifting climate zones as well as frequency and intensity of high impact weather events worldwide and industrial operations are gradually exposed to different and potentially higher weather-related risks. Operations adapt to this reality by changing their weather-related risk decision making process for planning and operations. This talk will highlight how forecasts can be used by industry to guide progressive decisions in multiple steps: starting from months out to minutes in advance of high impact weather events. This approach allows for sequential risk mitigation steps to be planned and exposure reduced as the weather event gets closer. Using a combination of probabilistic and deterministic forecast tools, weather related risks can be reduced, and operations become more efficient in the face of increased weather risks.