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Extreme Weather Events continue to cause shocking losses of life and long-term damage at scales, depths and complexities that elude robust and accountable calculation, expression and reparation. Cyclones and storm surges can wipe out entire towns, and overwhelm vulnerable built and lived environments. It was storm surges that was integral to the destructive power of Hurricane Katrina in the USA (2005), Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (2013), as well as Cyclone Nargis (2008) and the 1970 Bhola Cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. This paper report on work which concerns itself with the question of, given what we know already about such extreme weather events, and their associated critical infrastructure impacts and recovery trajectories, what scenarios, insights and tools might we develop to enable critical infrastructures which are resilient?
With several of the world’s most climate vulnerable cities situated in well-peopled and rapidly growing urban areas near coasts, our case study of Khulna City speaks globally into a resilience discourse, through critical infrastructure, disaster risk reduction, through spatial data science and high visualisation. With a current population of 1.4 million estimated to rise to 2.9 million by 2030, dense historical Khulna City may well continue to perform a critical role in regional economic development and as well as a destination for environmental refugees.
Working as part of the EU—CIRCLE consortium1, we conduct a case study into cyclones and storm surges affecting the critical infrastructure then discuss salient developments of loss modelling. The research aims to contribute towards a practical framework that stimulates adaptive learning across multiple stakeholders and organisational genres.