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4Opening Plenary Session Jan Hendrik Dronkers, Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Netherlands Donald Wuebbles, University of Illinois at UrbanaâChampaign, currently on assignment to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President of the United States, Washington, D.C., USA Lori Tavasszy, Delft University of Technology and TNO, Delft, Netherlands Keynote Presentation 1 resilient transPort system: an ongoing and multistaKeholder resPonsibility Jan Hendrik Dronkers Jan Hendrik Dronkers discussed transport resiliency in the Netherlands. He described the role of the Rijks- waterstaat, the executive agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment in the Netherlands, and highlighted examples of transport vulnerability to extreme weather events and adaptive approaches. Dronkers described the importance of resilience in the Netherlands, which is a country reclaimed from the sea. He stated that without the system of dykes, dams, and storm-surge barriers, two-thirds of the country would be underwater. He noted that Netherlands citizens have over eight centuries of experience working together to transform a vulnerable area into a safe and prosperous river delta. He suggested that the port of Rotterdam is Europeâs port of access and that the Netherlands is a key element in Europeâs transport system. Dronkers described the role and function of the Rijks- waterstaat related to the transport system in the country. He noted that the Rijkswaterstaat has played a crucial role in keeping the countryâs delta secure, accessible, and habitable since 1798. The infrastructure includes the highway, waterway, and main water networks. He reported that the main highway network comprises approximately 3,100 kilometers of motorways, includ- ing 2,500 viaducts, 15 tunnels, and 700 bridges. The main waterway network extends over almost 8,000 kilo- meters. He noted that it is the busiest waterway network in the world, with a total of 83 locks and more than 400 bridges. The main water system includes over 65,000 square kilometers of surface water, a range of damming dunes stretching over 44 kilometers, and over 250 kilo- meters of dykes and dams. Dronkers discussed the challenge of protecting the Netherlands from flooding. He noted that climate change was resulting in rising sea levels, with a projected sea level rise of up to 1.3 meters (4.25 feet) by the end of the century. High-water levels in the countryâs rivers will also increase significantly. He commented that the coun- try is coping with more extreme weather events, such as more storms, drier summers, and wetter winters. Dronkers described the Rijkswaterstaatâs ambition of creating a resilient and sustainable transport system that would allow for managing disruptions and switching to other modes or routes, if necessary. He noted that seam- lessly linking the transport modes is important to achieve a resilient and sustainable system. Changing from road to rail and then to the internal waterways would be an example of this modality. He further noted that informa- tion and communications technology, intelligent trans- portation systems, and connected smart mobility are assuming an increasingly prominent role in the Nether- lands to accomplish this ambition. According to Dronkers, a resilient transport system is efficient, good for the economy, and good for soci- ety. It is also environmentally friendly and sustainable as it results in the efficient handling of raw materials. He noted that the Netherlands had agreed to follow the EUâs
5o p e n i n g p l e n a r y s e s s i o n objective to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 60% by 2050 (compared with 1990 levels), even with the projected growth in the transport system. Dronkers described some of the uncertainties fac- ing the Netherlands and Europe, including the global economy, the impacts of technology on the transport system, and the social acceptance of new technologies and their effect on mobility patterns. He noted that con- nected smart mobility, which applies to both passenger and freight transport, is one of the major technological developments on the horizon. It includes other modali- ties, such as shipping and inland navigation, and the potential for unmanned ships and trains. He suggested that the effect of the Internet of Things on mobility and cybersecurity are other issues requiring attention. He commented that although these developments will make the transport system as a whole more efficient, they will also make it more vulnerable. Further, the transport sys- tem will be much more dependent on other networks, such as telecommunications and electricity. He suggested that it is vital to incorporate this vulnerability effectively into the development of a resilient transport system. Dronkers discussed the effect of climate change and extreme weather on the transport chain. He noted that the cost of transport as a percentage of income will increase if action is not taken. He suggested that although the actual costs associated with climate change are uncertain, costs will increase markedly and will prob- ably affect certain groups of citizens disproportionately. For example, not all people in vulnerable areas are able or willing to move. They accept the risks, but they can lose everything in one extreme event. According to Dronkers, initiating a strong policy of adaptation and mitigation would restrict the long-term costs of climate change. Countries in Europe have devel- oped or are developing national adaptation strategies to address this need. He noted that these strategies will assist in achieving a coherent approach toward the climate change issue by reducing vulnerability and increasing resil- iency in the face of increasing extreme weather events. Dronkers described some of the vulnerabilities of the different transport modes and the approaches being used in the Netherlands to reduce these vulnerabilities. Road and rail transport are affected adversely by heavy rain- fall and flooding, but inland waterways are less sensi- tive. A long period of drought, however, can force inland navigation to a virtual standstill, while road transport remains unaffected. A severe storm would bring virtu- ally all modes to a halt. As a result, he suggested that it is important to examine the system as a whole, with a focus on the local and regional context, as many of the effects of extreme weather are local in nature. Dronkers discussed the use of a stress test to assess the vulnerability of the transport system. This stress test examines the different components and modes individu- ally, as well as their interdependencies. He noted that this approach helps develop measures that guarantee the long-term robustness of the transport system. Examples of criteria used in stress tests include the effect on the transport capacity of the system, the availability and flex- ibility of the infrastructure when it is affected by extreme events, and the costs associated with system unavailability and recovery. He highlighted questions that can be exam- ined during the stress test analysis. For example, what are the consequences of a long period of drought for inland shipping, and for the transport system as a whole? What measures are necessary to guarantee system availability for transport, and is extra capacity needed for the other modes? How can the Port of Rotterdam keep operating? Where will the needed funding come from? Dronkers provided examples on different levels to illustrate the necessity for adaptation. He noted that materials need to be resilient to a wide range of extreme weather circumstances. Physical infrastructure, like road embankments and bridges, must meet functional require- ments in a changing climate, without increasing costs, or it should be designed in such a way that it can be easily adapted to changing circumstances such as rising water levels. The transport system as a whole has to be less vul- nerable to climate change and extreme weather. He said that the stress test was used to assess these conditions. The material example presented by Dronkers occurred during a period of hot weather in 2015 during the reno- vation of the Galecopperbrug (a bridge), which is located on a busy arterial road. The underlying steel was left bare during a heat wave, which led to a distortion of the steel. He noted that this incident led to a modification of the maintenance strategy. The second example con- cerned trench roads, which are roadways constructed at low levels. Insufficient capacity in the drainage system results in a trench road filling with water during heavy rainfall. The trench road design criteria were adapted on the basis of the new climate scenarios provided by the meteorological institute to address this concern. The adaptation will result in low-level sections being able to withstand 30% more rain without flooding. The third example was a recent collapse of an embankment next to the A74 motorway, located near the Dutch border with Germany, resulting from torrential rain. Immediate action was taken, the road was reopened within a day, and the embankment was repaired. Emergency measures such as sandbags and pumps have also been made avail- able in case comparable problems arise again. The event also resulted in investigating the integrity of road struc- tures in more detail throughout the country. Dronkers noted that climate change is often not the only reason for modifications to the infrastructure. He described the current reconstruction of the Afsluitdijk, a 30-kilometer dyke originally built in 1932, that pro- tects the central part of the country against flooding. He
6 t r a n s p o r t a t i o n r e s i l i e n c e noted that the project includes reinforcing the dyke to cope with sea level rise, and, at the same time, improving opportunities for road haulage, recreation, and nature. A passage to aid fish migration has also been added. Sustainability is being improved, and opportunities for hydroelectric power and solar power are being explored. Dronkers reported that the Rijkswaterstaat is not the only investor in the physical domain in the Netherlands, as the use of space is very intensive in this country. As a result, many parties are active in the same area, and working on infrastructure often requires cooperation with numerous stakeholders. He used the Botlek area in the Port of Rotterdam to illustrate the complexity of projects. The area includes roads, railroads, inland navigation, and pipelines. It also includes the Hartel barrier, managed by the Rijkswaterstaat, which is an important link in Dutch flood protection. He reported that the Rotterdam Port Authority, the City of Rotter- dam, and the state government are working together to examine the possible consequences of climate change for the Botlek area. Consideration is being given to inno- vative approaches to keep it safe from rising water in the long term. He noted that this integrated approach is preferred, if possible, over a sectoral approach. Dronkers reported that although direct damage to the road in the event of flooding appeared to be relatively limited, the indirect consequences for the economy could be consid- erable due to lack of access to industries and other parts of the country. The road would also not be available for evacuation. He noted that the agencies were currently developing a preferred strategy for climate adaptation. Dronkers described MEGO, or Module Evacuatie bij Grootschalige Overstromingen, the Dutch approach to evacuation management in response to large-scale flood- ing from the sea and rivers. The aim of this approach is to make the best possible use of major infrastructure for evacuation purposes when there is a threat of flood- ing. A key element of the plan for successful evacuations is effective cooperation and sound information. Prepar- ing citizens and making the public aware of the risk of flooding, the evacuation routes, and sheltering in place are important parts of the process. Making full use of traffic management strategies, including adjusting routes by closing off entrances and exits and reversing lanes, improves the effectiveness of the evacuation. Large-scale interventions in the infrastructure are not cost-effective, but regional modifications on the national highways might be beneficial, especially if the modifications are useful in the event of other disasters. Dronkers presented a video on risk awareness to illustrate the MEGO con- cept. The video was targeted toward educating the pub- lic on the risks of flooding and response options. Dronkers outlined three key points from the exam- ples presented. First, he noted that taking climate change into account is important when working on transport missions and objectives. He suggested, however, that taking action is not always necessary. Costs, benefits, and effectiveness all need to be carefully considered and evaluated against other priorities and other responsi- bilities. For example, adapting a road in an area where the probability of a major flood is very low may not be necessary. Improvements may also be unneeded in situ- ations in which, for example, it is considered acceptable for a road to be blocked once every few years for a few hours because of extreme rainfall. Second, he stressed that system resilience requires adaptation on three levels: on a material level, on an infrastructure element level, and on the level of the system as a whole. He noted that scenarios should be prepared for the phases before, dur- ing, and following extreme weather. It is essential that transport agencies are fully aware of the vulnerabilities, risks, costs, and benefits of different measures to be as successful and as cost-effective as possible. He also noted that the behavior of target groups is another key factor. Third, Dronkers commented that adaptation of infrastructure design to climate change is most effective during times of change, such as during planning, design- ing, constructing, replacing, and renovating phases. He reported that substantial cost savings can be made dur- ing these periods, with additional costs for design and realization kept as low as possible. In conclusion, Dronkers suggested that in considering the current state of the practice with resilience there is a lot of commitment, a good level of knowledge, and many viable instruments. At the same time, he suggested that there appears to be reluctance to take concrete action due to political, financial, and organizational factors, as well as uncertainty concerning the future. He called on participants to work together to share experiences, research topics, and research results. Dronkers noted that adaptation sometimes requires short-term investment, with benefits only being visible in the future. For example, the benefits of building bet- ter dykes now may only be realized many years from now during an extreme storm. The benefits of investing in new evacuation routes may also not be realized until well into the future. He commented that these invest- ments are still justified. He noted that infrastructure pro- viders and road operators must make the case now for a robust multimodal traffic system that promotes eco- nomic development and is resilient to climate change and extreme weather, with a goal to prevent social disrup- tion. He suggested that a clear vision and strong leader- ship are needed to meet the challenges of climate change and more frequent extreme weather events. He further suggested that an astute, risk-controlled, adaptive, and flexible approach is needed that is aware of, but free from, political trends.