This perspective paper discusses the main challenges and enablers of climate-resilient infrastructure and identifies how available roadmaps, tools and emerging digital technologies, e.g. Internet of Things, digital twins, point clouds, Artificial Intelligence, Building Information Modelling, can be placed at the service of a safer world. The operability and functionality of critical infrastructure are continuously challenged by multiple stressors, increasing demands and ageing, whilst their interconnectedness and dependencies pose additional challenges. Emerging and disruptive digital technologies have the potential to enhance climate resilience of critical infrastructure, by providing rapid and accurate assessment of asset condition and support decision-making and adaptation. In this pursuit, it is imperative to adopt multidisciplinary roadmaps and deploy computational, communication and other digital technologies, tools and monitoring systems. Nevertheless, the potential of these emerging technologies remains largely unexploited, as there is a lack of consensus, integrated approaches and legislation in support of their use.
This paper shows how digital technologies will lead to infrastructure of enhanced resilience, by delivering efficient and reliable decision-making, in a proactive and/or reactive manner, prior, during and after hazard occurrences. Emerging digital technologies will facilitate the solution of a central problem in infrastructure resilience – balancing efficiency and resilience trade-offs. Many current infrastructure systems are more vulnerable to sys-temic shocks and cascading disruption since the practices on which they depend, overly prioritise system efficiency over resilience. More resilient systems may be less efficient, but they recover better from systemic disruptions. Building resilience does not mean abandoning efficiency, but rather maximising the long-term sustainability of socio-economic systems in the face of future disruptions.