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Building Back Better: A Challenge for Critical Infrastructure

One of the main challenges that policy and decision makers face in the reconstruction of critical infrastructure lies in the urgency that is required to get vital systems and services up and running. That is the case of roads and bridges, needed to reestablish access to most affected communities that become isolated and in need of assistance; and hospitals that not only need to be operational but accessible to treat the injured and those who need urgent care. But also water systems, energy plants and grids, tele-communication networks and schools; and often, ports and airports, to ensure delivery of disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, domestic or international. That urgency often results in rehabilitating or rebuilding damaged infrastructure back worse, not better. Furthermore, reducing the vulnerability of critical infrastructure requires risk-based zoning and close institutional collaboration and coordination for data sharing and for integrating risk assessments into land use planning and the development of building codes, as well as the implementation of construction quality assurance (CQA) and construction quality control (CQC) systems. Last November 17th, an expert panel examined these challenges at a special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council and the Committee on Hemispheric Security.One of the main challenges that policy and decision makers face in the reconstruction of critical infrastructure lies in the urgency that is required to get vital systems and services up and running. That is the case of roads and bridges, needed to reestablish access to most affected communities that become isolated and in need of assistance; and hospitals that not only need to be operational but accessible to treat the injured and those who need urgent care. But also water systems, energy plants and grids, tele-communication networks and schools; and often, ports and airports, to ensure delivery of disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, domestic or international. That urgency often results in rehabilitating or rebuilding damaged infrastructure back worse, not better. Furthermore, reducing the vulnerability of critical infrastructure requires risk-based zoning and close institutional collaboration and coordination for data sharing and for integrating risk assessments into land use planning and the development of building codes, as well as the implementation of construction quality assurance (CQA) and construction quality control (CQC) systems. Last November 17th, an expert panel examined these challenges at a special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council and the Committee on Hemispheric Security.

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URL: http://rimd.org/advf/documentos/583f90d01f81c.pdf

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