WISRD’s work is focused on assessing the physical reliability and resiliency of infrastructure systems and assets within the boundaries of a municipality, while taking into account connections to social and natural systems. We have created the Foundational Infrastructure Framework© (FIF), a multi-system dependency model illustrating that our cities are supported by natural resources which supply nearly all of our water, energy, and building materials.
Why do we need yet another framework? Because none of the existing frameworks address the dependency issues within the built environment. There’s also a need to address the reliability of infrastructure services in modern planning discussions. In addition, most city departments have goals and responsibilities tied to infrastructure.
To live together in cities, we build Foundational Infrastructure that is made up of a number of interdependent systems. This foundation acts as a ‘house of cards’ in that if any of the these infrastructure systems are not resilient, we are in danger of having our entire society and the services it provides, collapse. The seven foundational infrastructure sectors provide the foundation for a variety of dependent, but essential city services.
We view the FIF as a 'filtering tool' which enables us to identify which specific infrastructure system components are fundamental to city resilience.
Our vulnerability analyses are conducted both by sector and from a whole systems perspective. Infrastructure assets are evaluated as being either integral components to the resilience of the whole system or associated structures/facilities whose failure would not impact the entire system’s performance.
For more information on the Foundational Infrastructure Framework please download our paper below, which was recently published in the Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure journal.