Balancing efficiency and resilience objectives in pursuit of sustainable infrastructure transformations

Samuel Markolf, Alysha Helmrich, Yeowon Kim, Ryan Hoff, Mikhail Chester

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Efficiency (i.e. optimized use of resources) and resilience principles (i.e. redundancy, diversity, etc.) are often at odds with one another. Despite being particularly acute within infrastructure systems, this tension appears to be under-explored. However, recent advances in ecological and social sciences provide some novel insights into navigating efficiency–resilience trade-offs. Overall, efficiency and resilience are both vital for a system's longevity and striking a dynamic balance between the two appears to be crucial. Striking this balance in infrastructure systems can be catalyzed by the treatment of resilience as a public good, as well as incorporating exploratory models and stakeholder coproduction in the design and implementation process. Ultimately, the dynamic balance between efficiency and resilience can play a central role in our infrastructure's ability to successfully operate in environments that increasingly fluctuate between stable and unstable conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101181
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Efficiency
  • Infrastructure
  • Resilience
  • Trade Offs
  • Transformations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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