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Centre for Sustainable Development

Est 2000 - home of the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

Fostering resilience-oriented thinking in engineering practice

By K. MacAskill, C. O’Hanlon, P Guthrie, J Mian

Engineering Sustainability   Vol. 173 Issue 7, Oct 2020, pp. 356-364


Round tables discussing the resilience of critical infrastructure systems held in the UK, the USA and New Zealand have provided insight into how organisations are changing the basis of planning and investment decisions to enhance resilience. The events convened stakeholders to explore how resilience is embraced in their sectors and to identify how to advance practice. The round tables identified that early-adopting organisations are implementing approaches to decision making that embrace resilience thinking, but such approaches are not yet embedded in common practice across organisations that are responsible for planning and managing critical infrastructure. The findings emphasise that multi-agency coordination and collaboration is required to advance resilience thinking in professional practice and to move beyond traditional risk-based paradigms. Governance and policy interventions will help encourage cross-sector information sharing and enforce responsibility and transparency surrounding exposure to potential shocks and stresses. It is recommended that such interventions could expand on principles and practice in existing emergency management efforts, on the basis that such efforts are founded on coordinating various groups.

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