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.

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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.

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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. 

Reference:
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, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tre.2018.02.009

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