Special Issue "Infrastructure Resilience in Emergency Situations"

A special issue of Infrastructures (ISSN 2412-3811).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2022 | Viewed by 7201

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Riccardo Patriarca
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rome, Italy
Interests: resilience management; resilience engineering; safety and risk management; socio-technical systems modelling; operations management; aviation; supply chain management
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Dr. Giulio Di Gravio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rome, Italy
Interests: supply chain management; industrial operations and management; compliance and risk management; resilience engineering; performance variability in complex systems; product-service system (PSS)
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Dr. Gesa Praetorius
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Kalmar Maritime Academy, Linnaeus University, 39182 Kalmar, Sweden
2. Department of Maritime Operations, University of South-Eastern Norway, 3199 Borre, Norway
Interests: maritime education and training; safety training; resilience engineering; cognitive systems engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Ivonne A. Herrera
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim (Norway), The Research Council of Norway, Oslo, Norway
Interests: resilience engineering; risk and safety management; avionics; maintenance management; critical infrastructure; change management; crisis management; innovation management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modern societies are becoming increasingly dependent on reliable, safe, efficient, secure, and resilient infrastructures, i.e., systems able to produce and distribute essential goods and deliver services. Among these infrastructures, those with limited adaptive capacity and have large effects on preparedness, response, recovery, well-being, and economic stability are considered critical, e.g., telecommunications, power systems, transportation, water supply systems, emergency services, digital infrastructure, etc.

Resilience has become a dominant concept for understanding, analyzing, and managing such interdependent systems, which are usually regarded as complex and intractable, since their operation and performance emerge from diverse interactions within and outside a specific infrastructure.

This Special Issue aims to gather the state-of-the-art research and practices focusing on resilience management for infrastructure. More specifically, the Special Issue aims to descrive how to enhance infrastructure resilience in preparation and response to a wide range of emergency situations, both expected and unexpected. The Special Issue embraces a trans-disciplinary perspective, encompassing strategy, planning, operations, maintenance, and decision making in order to improve adaptive capacities and effective crisis management. Reviews on the research field and practices are also considered within the scope of the Issue.

The list of topics includes (but is not strictly limited to):

  • Strategy and policy
  • Maturity frameworks
  • Interdependency analysis
  • Empirical approaches
  • Network-based approaches
  • Functional modelling
  • Storytelling
  • Serious games, gamification
  • System dynamics
  • Human-made disasters
  • Natural hazards
  • Emergent technologies AI, ML, big data, drones
  • Management of trade-offs
  • Diverse perspectives on resilience

The main domains of interest (in particilar interdisciplinary research) are:

  • Supply chain and manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Telecommunication
  • Water distribution
  • Power systems
  • Healthcare
  • Communications
  • Energy
  • Construction
  • Digital services

Dr. Riccardo Patriarca
Dr. Giulio Di Gravio
Dr. Gesa Praetorius
Dr. Ivonne A. Herrera
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Infrastructures is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Resilience management
  • Resilience engineering
  • Resilience assessment
  • Emergency management
  • Emergency response
  • Crisis management
  • Disaster management
  • Societal resilience
  • Adaptive capacity

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Learning from Incidents in Socio-Technical Systems: A Systems-Theoretic Analysis in the Railway Sector
Infrastructures 2022, 7(7), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures7070090 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Post mortem incident investigations are vital to prevent the occurrence of similar events and improve system safety. The increasing interactions of technical, human and organizational elements in modern systems pose new challenges for safety management, demanding approaches capable of complementing techno-centric investigations with [...] Read more.
Post mortem incident investigations are vital to prevent the occurrence of similar events and improve system safety. The increasing interactions of technical, human and organizational elements in modern systems pose new challenges for safety management, demanding approaches capable of complementing techno-centric investigations with social-oriented analyses. Hence, traditional risk analysis methods rooted in event-chain reactions and looking for individual points of failure are increasingly inadequate to deal with system-wide investigations. They normally focus on an oversimplified analysis of how work was expected to be conducted, rather than exploring what exactly occurred among the involved agents. Therefore, a detailed analysis of incidents beyond the immediate failures extending towards socio-technical threats is necessary. This study adopts the system-theoretic accident model and process (STAMP) and its nested accident analysis technique, i.e., causal analysis based on systems theory (CAST), to propose a causal incident analysis in the railway industry. The study proposes a hierarchical safety control structure, along with system-level safety constraints, and detailed investigations of the system’s components with the purpose of identifying physical and organizational safety requirements and safety recommendations. The analysis is contextualized in the demonstrative use of a railway case. In particular, the analysis is instantiated for a 2011 incident in the United Kingdom (UK) railway system. Hence, the CAST technique requires information regarding incidents, facts and processes. Therefore, the case study under analysis provided the information to analyze the accidents based on system theory, in which the results of the analysis prove the benefits of a CAST application to highlight criticalities at both element- and system-level, spanning from component failure to organizational and maintenance planning, enhancing safety performance in normal work practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrastructure Resilience in Emergency Situations)
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Article
Air Transport System Agility: The Agile Response Capability (ARC) Methodology for Crisis Preparedness
Infrastructures 2022, 7(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures7020011 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 819
Abstract
Aviation is a highly inter-connected system. This means that a problem in one area may cause effects in other countries or parts of the Air Transport System (ATS). Examples range from local air traffic disruptions to the 2010 volcanic ash crisis. Agility, like [...] Read more.
Aviation is a highly inter-connected system. This means that a problem in one area may cause effects in other countries or parts of the Air Transport System (ATS). Examples range from local air traffic disruptions to the 2010 volcanic ash crisis. Agility, like resilience, refers to the ability to cope with dynamics and complexity in a flexible manner, by adjusting and adapting performance and the organization of work to fit changing demands. The aim of this work is to help ATS organizations with increasing their agility in the face of crises and challenges. To this end, this article presents the Agile Response Capability (ARC) guidance material. ARC was developed from a literature study and a number of case studies that combined past event analysis, interviews, focus groups, workshops, questionnaires, and exercise observation methodologies. ARC aims to help aviation organizations to set up, run, and evaluate exercises promoting agility to handle disturbances and crises, and to enable structured pro-active and retrospective analysis of scenarios and actual events. The elements and steps of the ARC approach are illustrated and exemplified with data from three case studies. The ARC methodology facilitates more agile and resilient ways of responding to the fundamental and novel surprises that have become almost commonplace in the past decade, and are likely to continue to do so. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrastructure Resilience in Emergency Situations)
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Article
Energy Resilience Impact of Supply Chain Network Disruption to Military Microgrids
Infrastructures 2022, 7(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures7010004 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1272
Abstract
The ability to provide uninterrupted power to military installations is paramount in executing a country’s national defense strategy. Microgrid architectures increase installation energy resilience through redundant local generation sources and the capability for grid independence. However, deliberate attacks from near-peer competitors can disrupt [...] Read more.
The ability to provide uninterrupted power to military installations is paramount in executing a country’s national defense strategy. Microgrid architectures increase installation energy resilience through redundant local generation sources and the capability for grid independence. However, deliberate attacks from near-peer competitors can disrupt the associated supply chain network, thereby affecting mission critical loads. Utilizing an integrated discrete-time Markov chain and dynamic Bayesian network approach, we investigate disruption propagation throughout a supply chain network and quantify its mission impact on an islanded microgrid. We propose a novel methodology and an associated metric we term “energy resilience impact” to identify and address supply chain disruption risks to energy security. The proposed methodology addresses a gap in the literature and practice where it is assumed supply chains will not be disrupted during incidents involving microgrids. A case study of a fictional military installation is presented to demonstrate how installation energy managers can adopt this methodology for the design and improvement of military microgrids. The fictional case study shows how supply chain disruptions can impact the ability of a microgrid to successfully supply electricity to critical loads throughout an islanding event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrastructure Resilience in Emergency Situations)
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Article
Resilience Endangered: The Role of Regional Airports in Remote Areas in Sweden
Infrastructures 2021, 6(12), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures6120167 - 26 Nov 2021
Viewed by 850
Abstract
This paper examines the role of regional airports in regional and municipal crisis preparedness based on evidence from a case study in Sweden. During the summer of 2018, Sweden experienced some of the most extensive wildfires in modern time. Aerial suppression, for which [...] Read more.
This paper examines the role of regional airports in regional and municipal crisis preparedness based on evidence from a case study in Sweden. During the summer of 2018, Sweden experienced some of the most extensive wildfires in modern time. Aerial suppression, for which airports provided the essential preconditions, played an important role in extinguishing these fires. This study includes analyses of public policies that shape the Swedish airport system as well as evidence from interviews and a workshop with stakeholders. The results show that an efficiently operated network of regional airports is critical not only for crisis management but also to ensure important societal services such as health care in sparsely inhabited regions. Moreover, access to quick transportation by air is necessary for the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, tourism industry, public institutions and private businesses. Additionally intensified by effects of both the public debate on flight shame and the COVID-19 pandemic on air-based transportation, the insights arising from this study emphasise that the currently one-sided focus on the number of passengers is an insufficient foundation for the Swedish airport system to construct a resilient base for regional development, crisis management and civil defense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrastructure Resilience in Emergency Situations)
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Article
Barriers towards Resilient Performance among Public Critical Infrastructure Organizations: The Refugee Influx Case of 2015 in Sweden
Infrastructures 2021, 6(8), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures6080106 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
During the autumn of 2015, Europe experienced a sharp increase in refugee influx, and many refugees arrived in the European Øresund Region. Refugees travelled through Denmark and over the Øresund Bridge, arriving in the third largest city in Sweden, Malmö. Private, public and [...] Read more.
During the autumn of 2015, Europe experienced a sharp increase in refugee influx, and many refugees arrived in the European Øresund Region. Refugees travelled through Denmark and over the Øresund Bridge, arriving in the third largest city in Sweden, Malmö. Private, public and voluntary organizations in Malmö had to change the way they worked to meet the new entry demands. Flexible adaptations to changing circumstances can be described as resilient performance and are supported or hindered by societal and organizational drivers and barriers. Qualitative interview data from Swedish organizations managing the refugee reception in Malmö were analyzed through the theoretical lens of Resilience Engineering (RE). The analysis results showed that necessary adaptations were not supported by the managerial design of the responsible public organizations. The analysis also showed that preconditions created from societal steering hinders value responsiveness at the public management level, i.e., the public management level has barriers towards becoming familiar with the organization’s value structures. Familiarity with the system value and goal structure is essential for an efficient prioritizing of conflicting goals, which is why it is suggested that this aspect be explicitly included in RE principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrastructure Resilience in Emergency Situations)
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Article
Multi-Level Planning for Enhancing Critical Infrastructure Resilience against Power Shortages—An Analysis of the Swedish System of Styrel
Infrastructures 2021, 6(5), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures6050071 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 796
Abstract
The protection of infrastructure that is critical to society’s functionality, survival and progression has gained significance because of its large-scale and interdependent nature. This complex system-of-system (SoS) imposes extensive requirements on governance efforts to foster critical infrastructure protection (CIP). This paper uses the [...] Read more.
The protection of infrastructure that is critical to society’s functionality, survival and progression has gained significance because of its large-scale and interdependent nature. This complex system-of-system (SoS) imposes extensive requirements on governance efforts to foster critical infrastructure protection (CIP). This paper uses the kaleidoscope for integrative system analysis (KISA) to investigate a Swedish approach for CIP against power shortages, called Styrel. Based on multiple sources of evidence, such as documents with regard to the case, interviews and a survey with involved experts, the analysis focuses on the system of emergency planning and the usage of the resulting plan. The results deliver insights into the governance of the multi-level planning, including issues regarding policies, the management and operation of Styrel, and accelerating problems in the adaption, emergence and entropy of the SoS, during and between process iterations. Since this large-scale approach largely fails to involve the private sector to enhance the resilience of the society, this proceeding results in uncalculated consequences. In addition, the current design of the approach hampers transparency and evaluation, which poses obstacles to the cultivation of mutual trust, collective learning and a shared understanding as well as proper risk communication with the wider public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrastructure Resilience in Emergency Situations)
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Review

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Review
Advancing Resilience of Critical Health Infrastructures to Cascading Impacts of Water Supply Outages—Insights from a Systematic Literature Review
Infrastructures 2021, 6(12), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures6120177 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1099
Abstract
The current understanding of critical health infrastructure resilience is still dominated by a technical perspective. Reality however is different, as past events including the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed: emergency situations are only rarely exclusively technical in nature. Instead they are a product of [...] Read more.
The current understanding of critical health infrastructure resilience is still dominated by a technical perspective. Reality however is different, as past events including the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed: emergency situations are only rarely exclusively technical in nature. Instead they are a product of prior circumstances, often linked to natural hazards, technical mishaps, and insufficient social and organizational preparedness structures. However, experiences and lessons learned from past events are still largely overlooked and have not sufficiently found their way into conceptual understandings of critical health infrastructure resilience. This paper addresses this gap by challenging the one-sided and technically oriented understanding of resilience in the context of critical health infrastructure. Based on a systematic literature review, it assesses real-world cases of water supply failures in healthcare facilities, a serious threat largely overlooked in research and policy. The results underscore the need for targeted organizational strategies to deal with cascading impacts. The overall findings show that addressing technical aspects alone is not sufficient to increase the overall resilience of healthcare facilities. Broadening the dominant resilience understanding is hence an important foundation for healthcare infrastructures to improve risk management and emergency preparedness strategies to increase their resilience towards future disruptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrastructure Resilience in Emergency Situations)
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