A typological framework for categorizing infrastructure vulnerability

Tony H. Grubesic, Timothy C. Matisziw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The concept of vulnerability is increasingly important in engineering and the socio-economic planning sciences, particularly given the enormous costs associated with addressing it. The ability to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities is extremely challenging because it is influenced by a complex and dynamic set of interacting factors that can compromise social, economic and infrastructure systems. Where the latter is concerned, the ability to assess infrastructure vulnerability involves the consideration of a range of physical, operational, geographical and socio-economic characteristics. In this paper, significant elements of infrastructure vulnerability are identified and discussed with a focus on their intrinsic spatial nature and their propensity to interact across space. Further, the developed typology of vulnerability outlined in this paper emphasizes the need to ensure that policy, planning and disaster mitigation efforts are strongly integrated at global, regional and local levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-301
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical infrastructure
  • Disaster mitigation
  • Interdependency
  • Interdiction
  • Networks
  • Public policy
  • Spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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