Delivering Resilience

It’s time to think differently about the future — about how we prepare for and respond to natural, societal and economic risks.

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Resilience is the ability to surviverecover, adapt and thrive from chronic stresses and acute shocks.

Becoming resilient means minimizing the impacts of climate change, rising sea levels, extreme weather, natural disasters, urbanization and aging infrastructure, supply chain, regulations, health and cybersecurity threats so public entities and private citizens are safe and secure.

It also means increasing the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems to continue to adapt and grow — no matter what adversities they experience.

Resilience is an attribute of a smarter planet, and it requires planning and adapting ahead of potential threats like hurricanes, crumbling bridges and the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Resiliency helps city leaders and organizations alike strengthen and safeguard their communities and assets, save money, enhance sustainability, fuel growth and secure a more vibrant, prosperous future for generations to come.

Keeping business, cities and whole communities safe, resilient and adaptable to change is one of our core competencies and one we proudly offer globally across markets.

  • 50

    years of integrated resiliency solutions across markets

  • 1 K+

    resiliency-related projects in our portfolio

  • 200 +

    clients worldwide, focused on planning and response to the full range of climate hazards

“When communities and organizations alike are resilient, they’re made to withstand, recover quickly and prosper from increasing impacts of natural and human-made hazards or disasters, such as chronic stresses from climate change.”

Adam Hosking

Adam Hosking

Vice President and Global Water Resources & Resiliency Solutions Director

How we deliver

We’re delivering resilience on more than 1,000 global projects, focused on anticipating the impact of natural hazards and climate change to develop and implement resilient infrastructure — from coastal and inland river systems, to water and wastewater treatment and digital, supply and transportation networks.

Across natural and built infrastructure our resiliency experts engage with clients and stakeholders across the project lifecycle, assisting in early hazard definition, evaluation, strategy development, design of solutions and full implementation, including operations and maintenance of organizational utility and infrastructure systems.

We provide comprehensive infrastructure, technology and intelligence solutions to help governments, cities and surviverecoveradapt and thrive when facing natural hazard, operational boundary, cybersecurity, biosecurity and finance-related risks, including:

Resilience assessments

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We define natural and human-made threats to people, places and assets from public health security and cybersecurity to natural hazards and climate variability. Unlike other vulnerability assessment tools and processes, which typically focus on individual systems like water or power, we’ve developed a broad, city- and systemwide assessment and prioritization process for all critical networks and infrastructure. This process follows a holistic asset management framework so cities and organizations can address and prioritize their unique short- and long-term resiliency needs and opportunities on a consistent basis. This provides a firm foundation for making future investments and applying a “value for money” lifecycle cost-based approach to decision making. For example, working with the Inter-American Development Bank and Government of Belize, we undertook a resilience assessment for Corozal Bay to broaden and enhance Belize’s tourism economy and boost coastal, climate and disaster resilience.

Resilient design

Port of San Francisco Waterfront

Once we understand the system needs and vulnerabilities, we develop solutions to provide long-term resilience. These include the following:

  • Resilient infrastructure

    Physical infrastructure assets are the economic and operational backbone of any area, but urban growth and climate change demands strain the capacity of isolated systems. On the organizational side, digital networks must be designed to combat increasingly complex threats and cyber-attacks. Our work at NASA Langley Research Center includes an asset management system that’s optimizing operations and increasing asset life, while enhancing reliability across 270 facilities at the center. From full life-cycle asset planning to design of capital works and digital and physical infrastructure, we create comprehensive, cross-sector integration solutions tailored to city and organizational needs. Restoring critical infrastructure after events that exceed existing thresholds – such as the 2017 earthquake that hit the Philippines, severely damaging the Mahanagdong B 60MW geothermal power plant or flood-damaged US 34 – is another key aspect to resiliency.

  • Green solutions

    As different parts of the world become drier, wetter or hotter, green infrastructure solutions can help improve community resiliency and enhance urban areas today and into the future. Cities facing the acute shocks of heavy rainfall and flooding are seeking holistic and efficient stormwater management solutions that increase a city’s ability to survive, adapt and grow. Simply looking at stormwater infrastructure (e.g., water drainage and conveyance systems) in isolation, however, isn’t enough. And that’s why we help cities develop a more integrated stormwater management approach that ties stormwater infrastructure improvements to other city sectors: transportation, parks and recreation, environment, flood control, etc. We work closely with cities to diagnose their issues and develop an integrated approach that provides point solutions, addresses critical flooding challenges across sectors and integrates green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) to reduce and treat stormwater at its source. Take for example how at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, we developed green solutions to address stormwater and improve the quality of the local water environment, or how in Australia we partnered with The Nature Conservancy to design the second phase of the Windara Reef shellfish restoration project, delivering water quality, environmental and social benefits to the region.

  • Future-proofing solutions

    We deep dive into climate and population change analysis to inform master planning, urban design and sustainable delivery across digital and physical solutions. Leaders in both business and communities are seeking new technology-related solutions and approaches to bolster their resilience against anomalies from weather and other events. We partner with these leaders and technology players to deliver smart, connected solutions that strengthen organizations’ ability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to and recover from major stresses and shocks. Currently, we’re serving as the U.K. Government’s Delivery Partner for design and development of tidal flood protection for London, with a major focus on innovation to drive efficient delivery and system reliability.

     

Adaptation planning

Aerial view of Temaiku, Kiribati

Our powerful assessment and modeling tools accurately assess the impacts of rising sea levels, droughts, extreme weather and security threats, while accounting for the individual needs of each place or system and its unique geographic and infrastructure challenges. Once we’ve identified the greatest resiliency threats and quantified their risks, we work closely with leaders and stakeholders to create a clear implementation plan for mitigating each threat. The plan includes detailed project prioritization, sequencing and funding strategies and triple-bottom-line analysis of actions across natural hazard, operational boundary, cybersecurity, biosecurity and finance-related risks to improve resilience and support economic development. Working with the New Zealand Ministry for Foreign Affair and Trade and Government of Kiribati, we set out an adaptation strategy for the island community of Temaiku that provides a roadmap to sustain this nation in the face of climate change threats.

Organizational excellence

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Smart organizational systems promote integrated, innovative, high quality delivery, with sustainable financing. Our strategists provide expertise in the evaluation and benchmarking of organizational processes and behaviors to understand potential gaps in the understanding and management of vulnerabilities to business continuity. Our cities and places innovators bring deep expertise and experience in operationalizing resilience within municipalities, with working experience of delivering the 100 Resilient Cities framework and decades of support to our state and local clients. Additionally, through our operations & maintenance offering, we have extensive experience in actually running city organizations, and can bring an inside understanding of the resilience needs and opportunities. And, we’re developing tools to support operational resilience, such as our mobile field Vapor Intrusion (VI) geospatial technologies that identify and prioritize buildings at risk to threats from VI to biohazards, supporting effective response to events and preplanning to avoid public health issues; and our game-changing, cloud-based Flood Cloud and full Flood Modeller software platforms.

Emergency management and disaster response

Hurricane from aerial view of earth, courtesy of NASA

From preparedness and mitigation to response, recovery planning and delivery, we do it all. We work with NASA scientists to leverage remotely-sensed data and images shot from 240 miles overhead on the International Space Station to provide critical disaster response aid and help communities recover. And, we are on the ground assisting with critical Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster-related operations throughout the U.S. and its territories. We also work with cities to diagnose public safety needs and challenges and create replicable and scalable technology solutions to enhance operations across city departments and improve public safety. With our partners, we provide technical expertise to agencies and field personnel, host information resources in a secure cloud for anywhere/anytime access and support fixed, rapid deployment of operation centers with collaboration and situational awareness tools.

Program finance and delivery

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From operations and management, supply chain management, community and stakeholder engagement, finance, programming, monitoring and oversight support, we bring the necessary expertise and practical, hands on experience to design, help finance, implement and operate resilience actions and programs for both preparedness and recovery and restoration:

  • Business and financial advisory

    In response to a rapidly growing and mobile population, faced with challenging issues inherent in climate change requiring resilient and reliant systems, and access to social networks and large data processing, networks are continually challenged to provide efficient, affordable and sustainable solutions for the movement of people, goods and services. We help client assess their performance and plan their future, align their capabilities, processes and stakeholder relationships to attain their goals and fulfill their mission. We help organizations define efficient program options, find innovative ways to deliver and finance their programs and identify affordable, sustainable rate and fee programs that customers support. Working closely with our clients, our team provides innovative solutions that yield economic, operational and environmental benefits when implemented.

  • Portfolio planning/real estate strategy

    Cities, governments, companies and organizations across the globe are continually faced with planning for future change. Our team specializes in the upfront thinking that provides strategic solutions for future outcomes that help our clients achieve their organizational goals and objectives. Our planners apply a systems-based approach that integrates complex natural and man-made systems to achieve social, environmental and economic sustainability. We provide a framework that examines overlapping, interdependent systems influencing the triple bottom line of a project, organization or community.

  • Capital & transactions advisory

    Confronting the growing financial challenge of replacing and rehabilitating aging infrastructure, or delivering new systems, our team plays a key role in working with governments and the private sector to develop alternative financing strategies, including public-private partnership delivery. By developing robust business cases based upon real world applications and assessing pragmatic risk transfer strategies, we help our clients secure private involvement in the financing and delivery of innovative multi-billion-dollar civil and social infrastructure projects.

     

Strategic consulting

A group of thinkers, innovators, problem solvers and visionaries

Our solutions transcend the traditional silos of strategy, planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance, to provide a full life-cycle offering. We address global challenges from urbanization, climate change and digital proliferation to security, water scarcity, investment partnerships and the future of work — both today and into tomorrow.

Explore our strategic consulting services

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