Panel „Governance“

Faced by various external threats as well as the risk of multi-infrastructural collapse, urban infrastructures have become a key priority in the academic and policy debates on critical infrastructure protection. However, preventing various infrastructural failures from happening, and preparing for them in case they do, entails unusual governance complexities: often, the urban governance of CIs overarches different, often fragmented, policy domains and territories, and institutionally unbundled utility (sub-)domains. Preventing infrastructural breakdowns and preparing for them is not usually based on experience from past events, but on destructive scenarios of cascading failures, and involves considerable uncertainty and contestations among local decision-makers. In many cases, generally accepted institutions, procedural norms, and organizational capacities that could guide urban policy-making, the practices of utility companies and local crisis management are still missing. This panel includes theoretical and empirical contributions that address the “wicked” governance challenges involved in protecting urban infrastructures and in making them more resilient.

Alice Knauf and Andreas Huck (Technische Universität Darmstadt):
Governing Urban Infrastructure Resilience: Institutional Barriers and Opportunities

Scholars in the field of risk and crisis management agree on the need for collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders who shape urban infrastructure resilience. However, major challenges seem to exist with regard to collaboration between different policy fields, infrastructure domains, governance levels, and private and public actors. We draw on both quantitative and qualitative analyses of German, Dutch, and New Zealand cases to analyse how cities and their crisis management agencies approach the challenge of building connectivity, what kind of institutional barriers and opportunities exist, and to what degree institutional connectivity can contribute to urban infrastructure resilience.

Inke Schauser (Umweltbundesamt, Dessau):
Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Infrastructures

Energy, traffic and water infrastructures are vulnerable to extreme weather events. Due to interconnectedness of the systems the disruption of one infrastructure can affect other services. Especially the disruption of the energy supply and the IKT networks can lead to cascading effects on other sectors. Experience from different projects in the context of climate change adaptation as well as transformation towards sustainable, climate resilient infrastructures in Germany shows the importance of participatory processes in risk and vulnerability assessments. Cross-sectoral vulnerability and risk assessments benefit of the use of impact chains and impact webs to identify and visualize risks in different sectors in such a participatory process.

Impact chains display cause-effect interlinkages include climate triggers or hazards as well as potential impacts and cross-sectoral relationships. For more specific assessments they should also include indicators for sensitivity and spatial exposure to hazards. Also when analyzing past events mapping interlinkages are helpful to identify cause-effect relations. This has been done for extreme weather events in Germany connected with cascading effects in current infrastructures, such as river and flash floods causing disruption of the traffic and energy systems. Many of these events had direct impacts on different sectors but only a few caused cross-sectoral cascading impacts. Although some of the direct impacts on the infrastructures, especially the traffic systems, lead to longer disruptions of single connections, they could be by-passed in short term after the event. The indirect effects were solved within days after the event. Problems arose when the disruptions hindered the task forces. A dense infrastructure system with redundant structures help to bypass disruptions.

Coauthors:, Jan Trapp, Jens Libbe (German Institute of Urban Affairs DIFU, Germany), Ulrich Petschow (Institute ef of Ecologic Economy IÖW, Germany)

Eva Stock (Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), Bonn):
Critical Infrastructure Protection: Integrated Risk Management as an Approach to Address Governance Complexities and Cooperation in Civil Protection in Germany

The risk management of critical infrastructure operators (CIO) and emergency management organisations (EMO) should go hand in hand to establish comprehensive emergency planning for civil protection. EMO and CIO implement instruments of risk and crisis management, however with a different perspective: EMO focus on protecting the population, whereas CIO concentrate on protecting staff and maintaining their operational processes. For an effective emergency planning, it is necessary to integrate the risk management processes of EMO and CIO. In practice however, governance on a regional and local level is complex: In risk management cooperation among CIO, EMO and public administration could be intensified and harmonised and should not be considered as a challenge.

To address this gap, the German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) developed the approach of an Integrated Risk Management (IRM), which combines the perspectives of EMO and CIO in the process of risk management implementation. In the context of the BMBF funded research project CIRMin, BBK aims to find out what kind of information should be exchanged between CIO and EMO and how to facilitate communication and cooperation among the actors as this is the key for a smooth and successful implementation of risk management. Consequently, this presentation demonstrates how to use IRM to address governance complexities and cooperation in critical infrastructure protection on the regional and local level in order to enhance resilience to critical infrastructure failure.