“Safe-to-Fail” Infrastructure

September 9, 2021

The Netherlands recently celebrated the success of a massive flood control project that saved an area along the Maas River from destruction during the wettest July on record. Part of the country’s larger Room for the River effort, this newly built component diverts rising waters into a 1,300-acre natural catchment zone that can safely accept them. In Issues, Thaddeus Miller, Mikhail Chester, and Tischa A. Muñoz-Erickson explore a variety of such “safe-to-fail” designs that can be used to make US infrastructure systems more resilient—a growing challenge as extreme weather events become more common with climate change.

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