Mapping resilient communities project (2015-17)

Project Overview

icon-buildingRunning 2015 to 2017, the Mapping Resilient Communities project fit 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 uses a “capability approach” to 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 has built 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,” Co-Investigator Yanfeng Ouyang said. The research also explored ways to mitigate such vulnerability through more robust pre-disaster design and more effective emergency responses.

Project News

In April, the Mapping Resilient Communities team submitted a manuscript to the journal Computer-Aided  Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, with title “Vulnerability of Interdependent Urban Infrastructure Networks: Equilibrium after Failure Propagation and Cascading Impacts.”

In addition, PI Yanfeng Ouyang and his students made a presentation titled “Interdiction And Restoration Of Interdependent Infrastructure Systems in Military Operations” on Nov. 15, 2016, at the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

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 year of funding to continue their research into the resiliency of communities during times of manmade or natural extreme events.

In addition, the team received 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

(iSEE project members’ names in bold):