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Mapping resilient communities project

Project Overview

icon-buildingThe Mapping Resilient Communities project fits into the Sustainable Infrastructure iSEE research theme.


This project seeks to model the impacts of natural events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes — as well as human actions such as terrorist attacks or interventions — on communities and ecosystems.

Originally funded in 2015 by $220,000 from the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), the team brought together by iSEE is using a “capability approach” that will explain what residents can do — or be — after such a stressor occurs.

In Lead Investigator Paolo Gardoni’s words: “Evidence from several case studies shows that the socioeconomic status of a community influences how it is impacted. The focus of this project is to predict measures of impact of future events. We will use an extensive database and additional modeling to predict the extent of the impact of such an event — as well as the length of recovery, or resilience of the affected community or ecosystem.”

The team will also build sophisticated mathematical models to understand the vulnerability of complex interdependent infrastructure systems — such as water pipelines, roadways, power grids, and communication networks — that are closely attached to communities.

“Particular focus will be on capturing deterministic and random propagation of cascading disruptions — such as water shortage caused by electricity outage and pump failures — and the collective impacts to residents,” said Co-Investigator Yanfeng Ouyang. The research will also explore ways to mitigate such vulnerability through more robust pre-disaster design and more effective emergency responses.

Project News

In April 2016, the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) awarded PI Yanfeng Ouyang and co-PIs Paolo Gardoni and Colleen Murphy an additional three years and $499,964 to continue their research into the resiliency of communities during times of manmade or natural extreme events.

In addition, the team will receive direct funding for four graduate students to assist in the project.

iSEE, which helped form the team and gain the initial CERL grant, also assisted in applying for this extended federal grant.

The Team

Faculty PIs and co-PIs










Former student

Publications & Presentations

Still Working...

We’re still putting our thoughts together. We’ll let you know when we have ideas to share!