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Guidance Document

International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road Infrastructure


This document is the result of a project developed by the World Road Association (PIARC) between June 2014 and June 2015 as a contribution to Paris COP-21. It summarizes the best practice available on adaptation of roads to climate change, and provides a practical tool for use by any road authority. The tool facilitates the identification and replication of lessons learned from other countries, and can be applicable to any scale (national, regional, local or asset specific).

The tool guides road authorities through the process of increasing the resilience of their networks and assets through four stages:

- Stage 1: Identifying scope, variables, risks and data. This stage guides road authorities through a series of steps to allow for establishing the assessment scope and activities and to identify the assets, locations, risks and changes in climate to be considered. Early engagement of stakeholders in the process will ensure that the knowledge and interests of different specialists and groups (including road designers, hydrologists, environmental experts, risk modellers, business and investment managers, operational staff, policy makers and the supply chain)

- Stage 2: Assessing and prioritising risks. Based on the findings from stage 1, guidance on assessing the probability and severity of climate change risks on road infrastructure is provided. Furthermore, road authorities are enabled to understand and quantify the risks posed to their assets in an effective, robust and holistic way.

- Stage 3: Developing and selecting adaptation responses and strategies. The process for the identification, assessment, selection and prioritisation of adaptation responses is outlined.

- Stage 4: Integrating findings into decision-making processes. Findings from the assessment are integrated into road infrastructure programmes, processes, investments, strategies and systems.

The document stresses the fact that climate change risks and impacts should not be assessed or addressed in isolation, but linked to other natural and man-made risks and to other forms of environmental, social and economic impact. Investing in climate change adaptation can be therefore considered as a part of a more ambitious action to increase the resilience of infrastructure and the society it serves. Climate change risks should not be considered in isolation, but as a part of a holistic approach to risk management.

Reference information

World Road Association (PIARC)  

Published in Climate-ADAPT Apr 06 2017   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Sep 10 2022

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