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  1. Abstract

    Infrastructure are at the center of three trends: accelerating human activities, increasing uncertainty in social, technological, and climatological factors, and increasing complexity of the systems themselves and environments in which they operate. Resilience theory can help infrastructure managers navigate increasing complexity. Engineering framings of resilience will need to evolve beyond robustness to consider adaptation and transformation, and the ability to handle surprise. Agility and flexibility in both physical assets and governance will need to be emphasized, and sensemaking capabilities will need to be reoriented. Transforming infrastructure is necessary to ensuring that core systems keep pace with a changing world.

  2. Extreme heat events induced by climate change present a growing risk to transit passenger comfort and health. To reduce exposure, agencies may consider changes to schedules that reduce headways on heavily trafficked bus routes serving vulnerable populations. This paper develops a schedule optimization model to minimize heat exposure and applies it to local bus services in Phoenix, Arizona, using agent-based simulation to inform travel demand and rider characteristics. Rerouting as little as 10% of a fleet is found to reduce network-wide exposure by as much as 35% when operating at maximum fleet capacity. Outcome improvements are notably characterized by diminishingmore »returns, owing to skewed ridership and the inverse relationship between fleet size and passenger wait time. Access to spare vehicles can also ensure significant reductions in exposure, especially under the most extreme temperatures. Rerouting, therefore, presents a low-cost, adaptable resilience strategy to protect riders from extreme heat exposure.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 22, 2023
  3. Abstract Infrastructure systems must change to match the growing complexity of the environments they operate in. Yet the models of governance and the core technologies they rely on are structured around models of relative long-term stability that appear increasingly insufficient and even problematic. As the environments in which infrastructure function become more complex, infrastructure systems must adapt to develop a repertoire of responses sufficient to respond to the increasing variety of conditions and challenges. Whereas in the past infrastructure leadership and system design has emphasized organization strategies that primarily focus on exploitation (e.g., efficiency and production, amenable to conditions ofmore »stability), in the future they must create space for exploration, the innovation of what the organization is and does. They will need to create the abilities to maintain themselves in the face of growing complexity by creating the knowledge, processes, and technologies necessary to engage environment complexity. We refer to this capacity as infrastructure autopoiesis . In doing so infrastructure organizations should focus on four key tenets. First, a shift to sustained adaptation—perpetual change in the face of destabilizing conditions often marked by uncertainty—and away from rigid processes and technologies is necessary. Second, infrastructure organizations should pursue restructuring their bureaucracies to distribute more resources and decisionmaking capacity horizontally, across the organization’s hierarchy. Third, they should build capacity for horizon scanning, the process of systematically searching the environment for opportunities and threats. Fourth, they should emphasize loose fit design, the flexibility of assets to pivot function as the environment changes. The inability to engage with complexity can be expected to result in a decoupling between what our infrastructure systems can do and what we need them to do, and autopoietic capabilities may help close this gap by creating the conditions for a sufficient repertoire to emerge.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 7, 2023