Title: Towards Guidelines for Regional Assessment of Vulnerability against Service Disruption of Critical Infrastructures
Citation: EsReDa, the 29th Seminar "System Analysis for a More Secure World" Proceedings p. 81-95
Publisher: JRC ISPRA
Publication Year: 2006
JRC N°: JRC32271
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC32271
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: This paper presents results of an ongoing work carried out to define guidelines for the regional assessment of vulnerability against the potential disruption of the services provided by critical infrastructures, i.e. those infrastructures of which services are so vital that their unavailability or destruction would have a debilitating impact on society. The goal is to develop a comprehensive methodology towards living assessment of vulnerability at regional level, as a contribution to maintain or improve internal security. Vulnerability assessment has to be seen as a major step of a continuous and living decision-making process that provides regional authorities with decision-support materials (e.g. maps) to enhance communication with other stakeholders and to prioritize actions, within the context of better governance at regional level. The final paper will present a critical analysis on existing regional vulnerability assessment methods and common practices in Europe and highlight their accuracy for different fields of application and their limits against the need of regional authorities. This analysis shows a lack of accurate criteria or indicators to express the dynamic, in time and space, of the vulnerability of a regional territory, which, in this work, is seen as a complex distributed spatial system, consisting of all existing critical infrastructures, the socio-economic and political systems and the interactions amongst all these elements. The methodology shall be based on the definition of a set of indicators that capture the dynamic temporal and spatial aspects of vulnerability. This implies setting up an appropriate metric to measure these indicators, through the assessment of quantitative-qualitative, direct-indirect, short-term-long-term consequences of potential disruptions. A regional perspective enables the assessment of vulnerability in a new and systematic manner that includes the assessment of the cascading consequences of the failure of one critical infrastructure on other critical systems, such as other interdependent critical infrastructures or other interdependent social, economical, political systems. While the classical approach focuses on the vulnerability of the infrastructure itself, in order to increase its own level of safety, the proposed method will move from this approach to the spatial vulnerability assessment of a specific territory, with the objective to increase its level of security especially against the threat of intentional and terrorist acts.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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