Too Big to Fail? the Spatial Vulnerability of the Chinese Infrastructure System to Flooding Risks

Xi Hu, Jim Hall, Scott Thacker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Analysis of vulnerability to climate-related hazards, such as flooding, typically starts with the distribution of people and economic assets in flood-prone locations. However, this approach provides limited information about the severity of disruption that may be caused in extreme and disastrous events, as it does not fully account for the economic and social dependence on vulnerable assets. Infrastructure assets are particularly significant in this regard because of the very high social and economic dependence on these systems, which can extend far outside the hazard zone. In this paper, we demonstrate a methodology that is capable of understanding this spatial aspect of the vulnerability for the Chinese infrastructure system to flooding impacts on both a broad and local scale. We apply the methodology to the rail and electricity sectors. The results show the locations of critical infrastructure that are exposed to risk of flooding on a broad scale. We are also able to calculate the potential number of customers affected - should infrastructure assets fail owing to one or a series of flooding event(s) - on a local scale. Interestingly, our results show that the critical infrastructure in these sectors is not exposed to high flooding risks; however, climate change may increase the frequency of flooding events in these locations and planners should at least investigate the flood defence structures in these areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVulnerability, Uncertainty, and Risk
Subtitle of host publicationQuantification, Mitigation, and Management - Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Vulnerability and Risk Analysis and Management, ICVRAM 2014 and the 6th International Symposium on Uncertainty Modeling and Analysis, ISUMA 2014
EditorsJim W. Hall, Siu-Kui Au, Michael Beer
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Pages704-714
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780784413609
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd International Conference on Vulnerability and Risk Analysis and Management, ICVRAM 2014 and the 6th International Symposium on Uncertainty Modeling and Analysis, ISUMA 2014 - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 13 2014Jul 16 2014

Publication series

NameVulnerability, Uncertainty, and Risk: Quantification, Mitigation, and Management - Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Vulnerability and Risk Analysis and Management, ICVRAM 2014 and the 6th International Symposium on Uncertainty Modeling and Analysis, ISUMA 2014

Conference

Conference2nd International Conference on Vulnerability and Risk Analysis and Management, ICVRAM 2014 and the 6th International Symposium on Uncertainty Modeling and Analysis, ISUMA 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLiverpool
Period7/13/147/16/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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