Infrastructure systems adapted to maintain continued services

This solution addresses lack of continued services from infrastructure systems in New York City, USA for local communities

Problem Description

The risks from climate change and other 21st century threats will further challenge the resiliency of the city’s aging infrastructure for years to come. The City aims to adapt infrastructure systems in the city and across the region to withstand the impacts of climate change, to ensure the continuity of critical services in an emergency, and to recover more quickly from service outages. The City is already implementing a robust portfolio of infrastructure-based recovery and resiliency initiatives as part of a more than $20 billion climate resiliency program—which will reach nearly $30 billion with additional spending by other regional partners. The City also coordinates closely with its partners in the energy, telecommunications, and transportation sectors across the region to facilitate planning for and investment in the resiliency of their assets.

Building Blocks

Story

Transportation: The city’s transportation network is vital to helping New Yorkers recover after a disruptive event.

Water, Sewer, and Waste: The city’s sewer system can be overwhelmed by heavy downpours that exceed the system’s design capacity, creating flooding and sewer backups, as well as by storm surges.

Energy: The city’s underground and overhead energy distribution systems are vulnerable to floodwaters and high winds, as are electricity- and steam-generating facilities and liquid fuel refinery and distribution terminals.

Telecommunications: The ability to communicate reliably is critical, especially in an emergency.

Social Infrastructure: Infrastructure that strengthens communities, such as hospitals, community centers, libraries, and schools, can enhance social resiliency and assist in immediate response after a disruptive event.

Each of these systems requires a specific set of activities to ensure the resiliency of the city.

Resources

Organisations Involved

Solution Stage

One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
STAGE SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING FINANCE REQUIRED KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED GOAL
Developing and testing3
Mix of design and implementation skills
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Service, product and process design
  • Co-design
  • User-design
  • Light-touch evaluation
  • Cost-benefit modelling
  • Randomised control trials
  • High failure rate should be an explicit expectation
  • Visible senior leadership essential
HIGH
  • Grants, convertible grants/loans
MEDIUM
A stronger case with cost and benefit projections developed through practical trials and experiments, involving potential users
Demonstration that the idea works, or evidence to support a reworking of the idea

Key Details

Activity