Leveraging SETS resilience capabilities for safe-to-fail infrastructure under climate change

Yeowon Kim, Thomaz Carvalhaes, Alysha Helmrich, Samuel Markolf, Ryan Hoff, Mikhail Chester, Rui Li, Nasir Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


As the rehabilitation of infrastructure is outpaced by changes in the profile, frequency, and intensity of extreme weather events, infrastructure's service disruptions and failures become increasingly likely. Safe-to-fail approaches for infrastructure planning and design improve the capacity of cities to adapt for uncertain climate futures by identifying social, ecological, and technological systems (SETS) capabilities to prepare for potential failure scenarios. In this paper, we argue for transforming infrastructure planning and design to effectively utilize safe-to-fail approaches by navigating the opportunities and trade-offs of SETS resilience capabilities. From a technological vantage point, traditional infrastructure planning approaches account for social and ecological domains as external design conditions rather than embedded system characteristics. Safe-to-fail approaches directly challenge the isolation of the technological domain by necessitating a recognition that SETS domains are interconnected and interdependent in infrastructure systems, as such risks and system capabilities for resilience must be managed cohesively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101153
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Leveraging SETS resilience capabilities for safe-to-fail infrastructure under climate change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this