Man-made systems of utilities, services, transport and IT have become as essential as the natural environment for human life. National and international infrastructure is being tested by both sudden crises and slowly emerging threats: natural disasters and climate change, terrorism, cyber crime and economic and social malaise.

We need next-generation models for resilience that can provide secure and sustainable infrastructure, ensuring a bedrock for wellbeing and prosperity. That means a holistic approach built on the big picture, not just piecemeal solutions: developing more resilient technologies in the context of what’s needed to anticipate and respond to potential threats to financing, insurance, through-life and reliability engineering, cyber-security, mobility, sustainability, strategic planning, supply chains, governance and management. We aim to address the central issue of how critical infrastructure can be made more resilient for more people.

This work is rooted in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for Industry, innovation and infrastructure, as well as Sustainable Cities and Communities, to: “develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all”, and, by 2030 “significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations.”