Critical Infrastructures Resilience as a Minimum Supply Concept (KIRMIN)

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    Project Manager :
    Matthias Garschagen

    CIRmin is a collaboration of engineering, social and planning scientists as well as policy stakeholders and infrastructure providers. The project aims at analyzing interdependencies between essential pillars of critical infrastructure supply. Going beyond critical infrastructure management, CIRmin specifically focuses on the necessary minimum supplies of the population potentially affected by infrastructure breakdowns due to extreme natural hazard events. In doing so, the project is particularly interested in understanding the discrepancy in the minimum supply demands of different social groups and other infrastructure elements (e.g. hospitals, fire stations). In addition to developing minimum supply goals the project also aims at mainstreaming minimum supply concepts into risk and crisis management principles. With the financial support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) the project’s empirical pilot areas are two municipalities in Germany: the city of Cologneand the municipality of Rhein-Erft.The transdisciplinary CIRmin consortium will particularly assess dependencies and vulnerabilities regarding power and water supply, emphasizing particularly on the practical knowledge and experiences of the involved stakeholders. (Inter) dependencies will be exposed by analyzing the impacts of a power failure on the water supply and other critical infrastructures. As a result preventive measures for risk management and risk reduction can be assessed regarding their effectiveness, not only in technical but also in socio-cultural terms. Based on the results a minimum supply concept for critical infrastructures in case of a power failure will be elaborated.UNU-EHS leads the assessment of existing concepts and criteria for the assessment of resilience, as well as international frameworks of institutional cooperation for dealing with critical infrastructure failures in disaster situations. The assessment serves as basis for analyzing the transferability of societal and technical resilience concepts to the context of protecting critical infrastructures. Another core component is the assessment of minimum supply from an end user’s perspective. Herefore UNU-EHS conducts a household survey in three case study areas, covering urban and more rural settings. A key focus will be on the assessment of socio-spatial differences in the minimum supply requirements. Overall six target groups were defined based on a comprehensive literature survey and expert feedback, including students and apprentices, families, single households, senior citizens with and without special needs for care and assistance as well as refugees. The results will inform the development of minimum supply standards, designed in collaboration with the partners from the University of Applied Sciences in Köln, the University of Stuttgart, the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) and the associated partners. UNU-EHS further contributes to the development of the CIRmin conceptual framework and the establishment of an evaluation system on dealing with infrastructure failures based on ‘best and worst practices’.