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Incorporating resilience into transportation planning and assessment

Source(s):  RAND Corporation (RAND)

A resilient transportation system is one in which critical assets are not exposed to hazards or, if they are, there is sufficient capacity to mitigate the impacts of a shock. Current legislation requires resilience to be considered but does not provide guidance for how to incorporate it into the transportation planning process. Therefore, in this report, RAND researchers outline a conceptual framework to incorporate resilience into transportation planning. Researchers suggest that planners consider a framing of resilience that focuses on four elements: absorptive capacity, restorative capacity, equitable access, and adaptive capacity (AREA). Absorptive capacity is the ability of the system to absorb shocks and stresses and maintain normal functioning, restorative capacity is the ability to recover quickly following a shock or stress and return to normal, equitable access is the ability to provide opportunity for access across the entire community during both a shock or stress and normal functioning, and adaptive capacity is the ability to change in response to shocks and stresses to maintain normal functioning.

The AREA approach provides a means to discover alternative options or strategies that should be considered when planning to increase the resilience of the entire transportation system through modifications and additions to those assets. The approach focuses on such metrics as exposure, availability of alternative routes and mode choices, community planning efforts, transportation system user rates, and system efficiency. The value of incorporating resilience assessments into decisionmaking is that more–cost-effective approaches might be revealed by taking a holistic approach to infrastructure.

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  • Incorporating resilience into transportation planning and assessment
  • Publication date 2019
  • Author(s) Weilant, Sarah; Strong, Aaron; Miller, Benjamin M.
  • Number of pages 97 p.

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