18 September 2019

From A Rocky Road to Smooth Sailing : Building Transport Resilience to Natural Disasters

Written by World Bank
Developed by The World Bank
18 September 2019
Reliable transport infrastructure is one of the backbones of a prosperous economy, providingaccess to markets, jobs and social services. Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG9) calls forincreased access to sustainable transport infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries.Collectively, these countries will need to spend between 0.5 percent and 3.3 percent of their GDPannually (157 billion to 1 trillion US Dollars) in new transport infrastructure by 2030 – plus an additional 1 percent to 2 percent of GDP to maintain their network – depending on their ambition and their efficiency in service delivery (Rozenberg and Fay, 2019). Because of the wide spatial distribution of transport infrastructure, many transport assets are exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards, increasing costs for national transport agencies and operators. During the 2015 floods in Tbilisi, Georgia, the repair of transport assets contributed approximately 60 percent of the total damage cost (GFDRR, 2015). In the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, accessibility as measured by the length of open networks directly after the shock dropped by 86 percent for highways and by 71 percent for railways (Kazama and Noda, 2012b). Such transport disruptions necessarily have direct impacts on the local economy. Employees face difficulties commuting, access to firms is disrupted for clients, interruptions in the supply chain inhibit production, and finished products cannot be easily shipped (Kajitani and Tatano, 2014). The paper, prepared as background material for the Lifelines report on infrastructure resilience, summarizes the main findings on the risk faced by transport networks and users as a result of natural disasters and climate change, and the main recommendations for building more resilient transport networks. It starts by describing how transport disruptions affect firms and households either directly and through supply chains. It then proposes a range of approaches and solutions for building more resilient transport networks, showing that the additional cost of resilience is not high if resources are well spent. Finally, it provides a set of practical recommendations.
Subscribe to newsletter