Cornell systems researchers publish study on climate-adaptive transportation planning

“Climate-adaptive planning for the long-term resilience of transportation energy infrastructure”

Cornell systems researchers Arash Beheshtian, Kieran Donaghy, Richard Geddes, and H. Oliver Gao published a recent study that provides important policy insights on climate-adaptive planning for the long-term resilience of transportation energy infrastructure. This paper investigates a long-term planning response to the climate-vulnerability of transportation energy infrastructure in the borough of Manhattan, NY. The proposed model represents a hybrid utility-regret function with increasing relative and decreasing absolute risk aversion. Our formulation features a nonlinear stochastic mathematical program in which two-stage decision variables are simultaneously optimized against the motor fuel supply chain’s maximum resilience when stressed or under attack.


Case study area including the transportation network and the Manhattan’s motor fuel supply chain (left); projected 100- and 500-year floodplain maps for 2020s (top), 2050s (middle), and 2080s (bottom), for a sample area.

The separation of pre- and post-event decision variables leads to a two-stage framework: allocating resources according to various resilience-enhancing strategies (the first stage investment decisions, aka asset prepositioning) to maximize the infrastructure resilience when stressed (the second stage network operation decisions). In fact, second-stage decision variables (i.e. operational decisions in time of disaster) are conditioned on decisions made in the first stage.


Our results suggest investments in early- and late-stage solutions as a complementary approach with significant weight on immediate actions, despite ongoing proclamations that municipalities and governments should focus their adaptation fund on supporting the deployment of later-stage solutions. The modeling outputs also suggest a decentralized supply chain formation through an early stage deployment of reservoir tanks within the borough of Manhattan. 

Beheshtian, A., Donaghy, K.P., Geddes, R.R. and Gao, H.O., 2018, Climate-adaptive planning for the long-term resilience of transportation energy infrastructure, Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review,

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