EU-USA Transportation Research Symposium

On June 16th & 17th 2016, Dr. Alan O’Connor participated in an joint EU-USA transportation resilience symposium dedicated to Adaptation to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events. The event which was held in Brussels was jointly hosted by the European Commission, the US Department of Transportation and the US based Transport Research Board. The symposium examined the impact of climate change/extreme weather events on the transport system and the ways of reducing the frequency and severity of related disruptions. It adopted a cross-modal perspective on the adaptation of transport infrastructure and operations to changing climatic conditions, taking account of technical, financial and governance aspects of the subject. The introductory session provided overviews of the relevant climate science and current practice in managing risk and resilience in the transport sector. In a series of breakout sessions delegates discussed three phases in this management process; before, during and after an extreme weather event and/or longer term climatic adjustment. The discussions explored best-practice in public and private sector responses to weather-induced transport disruptions and the need for innovation to support climate change adaptation in the transport sector. A major goal of the symposium was to foster trans-Atlantic collaboration in research and development in this field across a range of disciplines, including transportation planning, engineering design, finance, operations, economics, insurance, risk-based management and public policy making.