Society deserves safe, sustainable and resilient infrastructure as the foundation on which many of our critical services rely. The disruptive and converging forces of climate change, urbanisation and complex global interdependencies are eroding that foundation in new and profound ways.
Engineering resilience into our infrastructure systems has never been more important. To accelerate progress in this area, crucial to safety of life and property and in line with Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s core values, we have joined forces with Arup, a world-leading company in infrastructure design and engineering, to deliver a ‘resilience shift’.
Funded by the Foundation, The Resilience Shift is a global initiative hosted by Arup that acts as a convening network, grant-maker and thought leader to inspire and empower all those working with infrastructure whether planning, financing, designing, engineering and building, and through to operating and maintaining, as well as working with key infrastructure end-users in the public and private sector, cities and industry.
Through partnerships and coalitions, it brings policy-makers, resilience practitioners and thought leaders together with the engineering and technical communities to put resilience engineering at the forefront of sustainable and resilient infrastructure development.
Our grant to The Resilience Shift is a call to arms that will deliver better, safer infrastructure systems and improved urban resilience to help countries and their populations stand up to the challenges of a changing climate and an uncertain future.
Now in its fourth year of operation, in 2020 The Resilience Shift appointed Seth Schultz its Executive Director. A global expert on sustainable development and urban resilience, he has created world leading organisations focusing on the impact of climate on cites, and worked with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Clinton Foundation, and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Energy & Climate Change among others. He was also Co-Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Cities and Climate Change Science Conference and served as a lead author on the ground-breaking IPCC Special Report on 1.5 Degrees. Outlining the challenge, he said:
“I am incredibly excited about joining the Resilience Shift team. We live in an increasingly interconnected world that is being pushed to its limit due to climate change, urbanization and population growth. It is more important than ever to prepare for the future by embedding resilience into the building blocks of our society. I look forward to accelerating the discussion about the transformation of our infrastructure, building large-scale commitment among stakeholders to adapt and incorporate sustainability and resilience into our infrastructure and further seeing ways to collaborate on solutions and next steps.”
Since 2016, the initiative has worked with global authorities in resilience engineering to build a knowledge base to inform and encourage changing practice across critical infrastructure sectors. It is also supporting a global network of partner institutions committed to sharing and operationalizing knowledge and experience and successfully leveraging its influence on policy, planning, funding, and investment.
Our involvement aligns with the recommendations of the Foundation’s Foresight Review on resilience engineering. The Resilience Shift addresses many of the challenges and opportunities identified by industry and the opportunities to share experience from working across critical infrastructure sectors and systems.
To date, its work has identified policy, tools and approaches that can enhance resilience, and captured best and pioneering resilience practice through round-tables, case studies, industry primers and success stories. It has also supported the creation of an end to end approach to urban water resilience to helped water-stressed cities to improve resilience at a catchment level.
It has convened and curated learning opportunities and workshops to learn from crisis both retrospectively, and in real-time during the Covid-19 pandemic, and using resilience scenario exercises. It has supported the development of innovative learning resources such as filmed interviews and podcasts to explore what matters for resilience and the nature of resilient leadership.
Its impact has already been significant, creating a robust body of knowledge including publications, online tools, and digital materials, as well as growing a new global resilience community of interest, while personally reaching over 4,000 individuals engaged through in-person workshops and direct involvement. Its work has contributed to the growing importance of resilience within infrastructure policy-making, and to changing perceptions among those working in the built environment. Significantly it has engaged across, within and between sectors to build capability and support the transfer of experience and knowledge to complementary interdependent systems.
The aim of The Resilience Shift initiative is that by 2026, individuals and institutions responsible for the design, delivery and operation of critical infrastructure will have embraced and adopted resilience concepts and practices. Infrastructure and engineered structures will not only be safer, but they will underpin the continuity of critical functions in the communities they serve.