Rae Zimmerman

Research Professor and Professor Emerita of Planning and Public Administration

(212) 998-7432
The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street
Room 3094
New York, NY 10012
By appointment
Rae Zimmerman

Rae Zimmerman is a Research Professor and Professor Emerita of Planning and Public Administration at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Since 1998, she has held the role of Director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS), a center, initially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for collaborative and interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach on infrastructure services. 

In 2011-2013 she directed Wagner’s Urban Planning Program for the fifth time. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, past president and Fellow of the international Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), and recipient of the SRA 2015 Outstanding Service Award.

Her teaching and research areas encompass environmental quality, environmental health risk management, and urban infrastructure in the context of the quality of life in cities. Some specific research and past teaching areas include social and environmental performance measures for the resiliency of urban infrastructure services in extreme events of both natural and human origins. Her work on these and other topics covers security and global climate change; complexities posed by interconnected infrastructures; the ability of institutions to cope with these stresses; public attitudes toward environmental protection; social and economic characteristics of communities facing environmental stresses; social justice; and risk communication in the context of unanticipated events. Courses she has developed and taught encompass how cities adapt to innovations in energy, transportation and water; environmental impact assessment; environmental planning; and emergency planning. Professor Zimmerman has directed over three dozen research projects as a principal investigator and she has been co-Principal Investigator or senior researcher for over a dozen others with federal funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (through three universities-NYU, the University of Southern California, and Dartmouth College), and various state and local agencies. Professor Zimmerman works closely with NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering on research and educational programs connected with infrastructure interdependencies and cyber threats to physical infrastructures.

She is the author of Transport, the Environment and Security (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012), authored Governmental Management of Chemical Risk (Lewis/CRC), co-produced Beyond September 11th (University of Colorado at Boulder), and co-edited Digital Infrastructures (Routledge) and Sustaining Urban Networks (Routledge). Additionally, her publications have appeared in numerous edited books as well as journals from many disciplines including planning, environmental and public administration journals, for example, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Climatic Change, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Disaster Management, Energy Policy, the Fordham Urban Law Journal (forthcoming), the International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, Journal of Applied Security Research, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, the Journal of Extreme Events, the Journal of Infrastructure Systems (forthcoming), the Journal of Risk Research, the Journal of Urban Health, the Journal of Urban Technology,  the Policy Studies Journal, Public Administration Review, Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Risk Analysis, Socioeconomic Planning Sciences, and Water Resources Research. Current advisory committee appointments include the Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection (ABR10) of the Transportation Research Board, National Academies (chair of the Physical Security Subcommittee) appointment through 2020, and the NYC Panel on Climate Change. Previously she held numerous appointments to committees as member of the committee on Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities of the National Academies and other committees of the U.S. EPA, the National Academies, the City of New York and the State of New York. She serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Risk Analysis; the Journal of Risk Research; the Journal of Urban Technology; and the International Journal of Critical Infrastructures, and is a reviewer for over a dozen other journals. Education: B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California (Berkeley), a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in planning from Columbia University. URL: http://wagner.nyu.edu/zimmerman

CURRENT AND SELECTED RECENT GRANTS:

2015-2020 Senior faculty researcher (Principal Investigator for NYU), “Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather Related Events Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN),” National Science Foundation (1444755) through Arizona State University. http://wagner.nyu.edu/news/newsStory/prof-rae-zimmerman-chosen-particip…

January 1- June 30, 2017. Co-Principal Investigator, “Dynamic Resiliency Modeling and Planning for Interdependent Critical Infrastructures,” funded by Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. CIRI is part of the Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the U. of Illinois funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

2015-2018 Co-Principal Investigator, Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes (CRISP) Type 1: Reductionist and Integrative Approaches to Improve the Resiliency of Multi-Scale Interdependent Critical Infrastructure, funded by the National Science Foundation (1541164).

2014-2017 Co-Principal Investigator, “Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Processes and Systems (RIPS) Type I: A Meta-Network Systems Framework for Resilient Analysis and Design of Modern Interdependent Critical Infrastructures,” National Science Foundation (1441140).

2015-2017 Principal Investigator, “Public Transit and Mandatory Evacuations Prior to Extreme Weather Events in New York City,” U.S. Department of Transportation Region 2 Urban Transportation Research Center.

2014-2015 Principal Investigator, “Suburban Poverty, Public Transit, Economic Opportunities, and Social Mobility,” U.S. Department of Transportation, Region II Urban Transportation Research Center. Final report posted at: http://www.utrc2.org/sites/default/files/Final-Report-Surburban-Poverty…

2012-2014 Principal Investigator, “Promoting Transportation Flexibility in Extreme Events through Multi-Modal Connectivity,” U.S. Department of Transportation, Region II University Transportation Research Center.

2013-2014 Principal Investigator, “RAPID/Collaborative Research: Collection of Perishable Hurricane Sandy Data on Weather-Related Damage to Urban Power and Transit Infrastructure,” National Science Foundation (1316335), in collaboration with the U. of Washington (lead) and Louisiana State University.

2013-2015 Principal Investigator (NYU-Wagner) and researcher, New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms & Emergencies (NYS RISE), funded by New York State (NYU-Poly and Stony Brook University, leads). 

This course provides students with the capacity to develop planning and public service approaches to understand, diagnose and address causes, consequences, and mitigation and adaptation measures for a variety of emergencies and disasters. These events include natural hazards, accidents, terrorism and other extreme events with often devastating impacts on social structures and the built and natural environments. To address these issues, the course draws upon environmental and land use planning, the spatial representation of hazard areas, hazard index construction, and statistical analysis of databases and risk management to gain an understanding of, reduce, respond, and adapt to disaster consequences. Students will learn effective resource allocation strategies, social justice policies, and innovative technological, environmental and social approaches for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The course also includes knowledge of social and individual behaviors that are a foundation for understanding how people act in disasters. Students will have the opportunity in some cases to meet professionals in emergency planning and response fields in public services, social and health services, security, and the environment.

Download Syllabus

The future has just begun: we can proactively change the way energy, water and transportation are provided to urban communities and transform our infrastructure in response to the challenges of climate change, social inequality and resource scarcity. Our cities were built on a foundation that never imagined the changes in the physical and political environment that we currently face, but new technology and innovative planning approaches offer the potential to fundamentally improve urban infrastructure. Today, these innovations are helping energize social and environmental movements and are slowly, if steadily, being included into standard business practice globally. This course will explore how these new technologies and planning strategies can be further incorporated into our current and future urban environment, encourage the transformation of individual behavior, promote environmental protection, and reinforce the stability of essential services across the urban landscape. We will explore how these innovations can lead to neighborhoods and communities that conserve resources, promote environmental benefits, and adapt to the risks of climate change. In this course, students will learn to evaluate performance characteristics, resource demands, and the comparative impact of these innovations relative to conventional infrastructure. The course focuses on how combining strategies for smart growth, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and innovative alternatives for energy, water and transportation can lead to greener, more sustainable cities.

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This course provides students with the capacity to develop planning and public service approaches to understand, diagnose and address causes, consequences, and mitigation and adaptation measures for a variety of emergencies and disasters. These events include natural hazards, accidents, terrorism and other extreme events with often devastating impacts on social structures and the built and natural environments. To address these issues, the course draws upon environmental and land use planning, the spatial representation of hazard areas, hazard index construction, and statistical analysis of databases and risk management to gain an understanding of, reduce, respond, and adapt to disaster consequences. Students will learn effective resource allocation strategies, social justice policies, and innovative technological, environmental and social approaches for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The course also includes knowledge of social and individual behaviors that are a foundation for understanding how people act in disasters. Students will have the opportunity in some cases to meet professionals in emergency planning and response fields in public services, social and health services, security, and the environment.

Download Syllabus

2016

R. Zimmerman, Q. Zhu and C. Dimitri. Promoting Resilience for Food, Energy and Water Interdependencies. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp. 50-61. DOI: 10.1007/s13412-016-0362-0

2015

Rae Zimmerman, C. Rosenzweig, W. Solecki, P. Romero-Lankao, S. Mehrotra, S. Dhakal, T. Bowman, and S. Ali Ibrahim. Energy Transformations in Cities. (December 2015) ARC3.2 Summary for City Leaders. Urban Climate Change Research Network. Columbia University. New York, pp. 14-15.
R. Zimmerman, C.E. Restrepo, J. Sellers, A. Amirapu, T. R. Pearson, and Hannah B. Kates. Multi-Modal Transit Connectivity for Flexibility in Extreme Events. Transportation Research Record (Journal of the Transportation Research Board), No. 2532, pp. 64-73, 2015. DOI: 10.3141/2532-08.
Forthcoming

2014

R. Zimmerman. Strategies and Considerations for Investing in Sustainable City Infrastructure. Chapter 7 in The Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities: Strategies, Methods and Outlook, edited by D. Mazmanian and H. Blanco, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd.
Forthcoming
Abstract

Extreme events of all kinds are increasing in number, severity, or impacts. Transportation provides a vital support service for people in such circumstances in the short-term for evacuation and providing supplies where evacuation is not undertaken, yet, transportation services are often disabled in disasters. Nationwide and in New York and New Jersey record-setting weather disasters have occurred and are expected to continue. Disadvantaged populations are particularly vulnerable. Network theories provide insights into vulnerability and directions for adaptation by defining interconnections, such as multi-modality. Multi-modal connectivity provides passenger flexibility and reduces risks in extreme events, and these benefits are evaluated in the NY area. Focusing on public transit, selected passenger multimodal facilities are identified that connect to transit, emphasizing rail-bus connectivity. Publicly available databases are used from MTA, NJ rail, and U.S. DOT’s IPCD. For NYC, statistical analyses suggest there may be some differences by poverty levels. For NYC and three northeastern NJ cities connectivity differs for stations that are terminuses and have high rail convergence. This report provides statistical summaries, cases, and a literature review to characterize multi-modal facilities and their use in extreme events. Recommendations and future research directions are provided for the role of passenger multi-modality to enhance transit flexibility.

The research was funded by a faculty research grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Region 2 University Transportation Research Center to NYU-Wagner, 2012-2014.

Abstract

Safety, Reliability, Risk and Life-Cycle Performance of Structures and Infrastructures contains the plenary lectures and papers presented at the 11th International Conference on STRUCTURAL SAFETY AND RELIABILITY (ICOSSAR2013, New York, NY, USA, 16-20 June 2013), and covers major aspects of safety, reliability, risk and life-cycle performance of structures and infrastructures, with special focus on advanced technologies, analytical and computational methods of risk analysis, probability-based design and regulations, smart systems and materials, life-cycle cost analysis, damage assessment, social aspects, urban planning, and industrial applications. Emerging concepts as well as state-of-the-art and novel applications of reliability principles in all types of structural systems and mechanical components are included. Civil, marine, mechanical, transportation, nuclear and aerospace applications are discussed.
The unique knowledge, ideas and insights make this set of a book of abstracts and searchable, full paper USBdevice must-have literature for researchers and practitioners involved with safety, reliability, risk and life-cycle performance of structures and infrastructures.

2013

Abstract

Although now a growing and respectable research field, crisis management—as a formal area of study—is relatively young, having emerged since the 1980s following a succession of such calamities as the Bhopal gas leak, Chernobyl nuclear accident, Space Shuttle Challenger loss, and Exxon Valdez oil spill. Analysis of organizational failures that caused such events helped drive the emerging field of crisis management. Simultaneously, the world has experienced a number of devastating natural disasters: Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, etc. From such crises, both human-induced and natural, we have learned our modern, tightly interconnected and interdependent society is simply more vulnerable to disruption than in the past. This interconnectedness is made possible in part by crisis management and increases our reliance upon it. As such, crisis management is as beneficial and crucial today as information technology has become over the last few decades.

Crisis is varied and unavoidable. While the examples highlighted above were extreme, we see crisis every day within organizations, governments, businesses and the economy. A true crisis differs from a “routine” emergency, such as a water pipe bursting in the kitchen. Per one definition, “it is associated with urgent, high-stakes challenges in which the outcomes can vary widely (and are very negative at one end of the spectrum) and will depend on the actions taken by those involved.” Successfully engaging, dealing with, and working through a crisis requires an understanding of options and tools for individual and joint decision making. Our Encyclopedia of Crisis Management comprehensively overviews concepts and techniques for effectively assessing, analyzing, managing, and resolving crises, whether they be organizational, business, community, or political. From general theories and concepts exploring the meaning and causes of crisis to practical strategies and techniques relevant to crises of specific types, crisis management is thoroughly explored.

2012

Abstract

Effective means of transport are critical under both normal and extreme conditions, but modern transport systems are subject to many diverse demands. This path-breaking book uniquely draws together the typically conflicting arenas of transport, the environment and security, and provides collective solutions to their respective issues and challenges.

From a primarily urban perspective, the author illustrates that the fields of transportation, environment (with an emphasis on climate change) and security (for both natural hazards and terrorism) and their interconnections remain robust areas for policy and planning. Synthesizing existing data, new analyses, and a rich set of case studies, the book uses transportation networks as a framework to explore transportation in conjunction with environment, security, and interdependencies with other infrastructure sectors. The US rail transit system, ecological corridors, cyber security, planning mechanisms and the effectiveness of technologies are among the topics explored in detail. Case studies of severe and potential impacts of natural hazards, accidents, and security breaches on transportation are presented. These cases support the analyses of the forces on transportation, land use and patterns of population change that connect, disconnect and reconnect people from their environment and security.

The book will prove a fascinating and insightful read for academics, students, and practitioners across a wide range of fields including: transport, environmental economics, environmental management, urban planning, public policy, and terrorism and security.

Abstract

Air pollution is considered a risk factor for asthma. In this paper, we analyze the association between daily hospital admissions for asthma and ambient air pollution concentrations in four New York City counties. Negative binomial regression is used to model the association between daily asthma hospital admissions and ambient air pollution concentrations. Potential confounding factors such as heat index, day of week, holidays, yearly population changes, and seasonal and long-term trends are controlled for in the models. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) show the most consistent statistically significant associations with daily hospitalizations for asthma during the entire period (1996-2000). The associations are stronger for children (0 - 17 years) than for adults (18 - 64 years). Relative risks (RR) for the inter-quartile range (IQR) of same day 24-hour average pollutant concentration and asthma hospitalizations for children for the four county hospitalization totals were: NO2 (IQR = 0.011 ppm, RR = 1.017, 95% CI = 1.001, 1.034), SO2 (IQR = 0.008 ppm, RR = 1.023, 95% CI = 1.004, 1.042), CO (IQR = 0.232 ppm, RR = 1.014, 95% CI = 1.003, 1.025). In the case of ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM2.5) statistically significant associations were found for daily one-hour maxima values and children’s asthma hospitalization in models that used lagged values for air pollution concentrations. Five-day weighted average lag models resulted in these estimates: O3 (one-hour maxima) (IQR = 0.025 ppm, RR = 1.049, 95% CI = 1.002, 1.098), PM2.5 (one-hour maxima) (IQR = 16.679 μg/m3, RR = 1.055, 95% CI = 1.008, 1.103). In addition, seasonal variations were also explored for PM2.5 and statistically significant associations with daily hospital admissions for asthma were found during the colder months (November-March) of the year. Important differences in pollution effects were found across pollutants, counties, and age groups. The results for PM2.5 suggest that the composition of PM is important to this health outcome, since the major sources of NYC PM differ between winter and summer months.

2011

S. Mehrotra (Nairobi, Mexico City), B. Lefevre (Paris), R. Zimmerman (New York City, Coordinating Lead Authors and H. Gercek, K. Jacob, and S. Srinivasan.. Climate Change and Urban Transportation Systems. in Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), First UCCRN Assessment Report on Climate Change in Cities (ARC3), edited by C. Rosenzweig, W. D. Solecki, S. A. Hammer, and S. Mehrotra. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2011, forthcoming, pp. 143- 182.
Abstract

Public and private decision-makers continue to seek risk-based approaches to allocate funds to help communities respond to disasters, accidents, and terrorist attacks involving critical infrastructure facilities. The requirements for emergency response capability depend both upon risks within a region's jurisdiction and mutual aid agreements that have been made with other regions. In general, regions in close proximity to infrastructure would benefit more from resources to improve preparedness because there is a greater potential for an event requiring emergency response to occur if there are more facilities at which such events could occur. Thus, a potentially important input into decisions about allocating funds for security is the proximity of a community to high concentrations of infrastructure systems that potentially could be at risk to an industrial accident, natural disaster, or terrorist attack. In this paper, we describe a methodology for measuring a region's exposure to infrastructure-related risks that captures both a community's concentration of facilities or sites considered to be vulnerable and of the proximity of these facilities to surrounding infrastructure systems. These measures are based on smoothing-based nonparametric probability density estimators, which are then used to estimate the probability of the entire infrastructure occurring within any specified distance of facilities in a county. The set of facilities used in the paper to illustrate the use of this methodology consists of facilities identified as vulnerable through the California Buffer Zone Protection Program. For infrastructure in surrounding areas we use dams judged to be high hazards, and BART tracks. The results show that the methodology provides information about patterns of critical infrastructure in regions that is relevant for decisions about how to allocate terrorism security and emergency preparedness resources.

M. Barata (Rio de Janeiro), E. Ligeti (Toronto), Coordinating Lead Authors and G. De Simone (Rio de Janeiro), T. Dickinson (Toronto), D. Jack (New York City), J. Penney (Toronto), M. Rahman (Dhaka), and R. Zimmerman (New York City.). Climate Change and Human Health in Cities. in Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), First UCCRN Assessment Report on Climate Change in Cities (ARC3), edited by C. Rosenzweig, W. D. Solecki, S. A. Hammer, and S. Mehrotra. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2011, forthcoming, pp. 183-217
Abstract

While current rates of sea level rise and associated coastal flooding in the New York City region appear to be manageable by stakeholders responsible for communications, energy, transportation, and water infrastructure, projections for sea level rise and associated flooding in the future, especially those associated with rapid icemelt of the Greenland and West Antarctic Icesheets, may be outside the range of current capacity because extreme events might cause flooding beyond today's planning and preparedness regimes. This paper describes the comprehensive process, approach, and tools for adaptation developed by the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) in conjunction with the region's stakeholders who manage its critical infrastructure, much of which lies near the coast. It presents the adaptation framework and the sea-level rise and storm projections related to coastal risks developed through the stakeholder process. Climate change adaptation planning in New York City is characterized by a multi-jurisdictional stakeholder-scientist process, state-of-the-art scientific projections and mapping, and development of adaptation strategies based on a risk-management approach.

Abstract

Climate change mitigation and adaptation action plans are developing at a rapid pace, being driven by both local initiatives and emerging alliances and support organizations that cut across multiple jurisdictions. These plans include a broad range of approaches, many of which are evolving into best or leading practices and which will be increasingly used as a model for the plans of other locales. This paper draws attention to several best practices in both mitigation and adaptation for North American cities, and also highlights many of the supporting alliances and groups that disseminate key practices and drive potential synergies. Additionally, it is noted that despite the increasing rate of plan development, a continuing need exists for increased attention to adaptation at the local level.

J.S. Simonoff, C.E. Restrepo, and R. Zimmerman.. Current Risk Management Issues for Hazardous Liquids and Natural Gas Pipeline Infrastructure.
Abstract

Disasters from terrorism, natural hazards and accidents are now becoming commonplace and may be increasing as a major threat against the viability of transportation infrastructure and the invaluable social services it provides. The paper first sets forth the nature of the threats and hazards transportation infrastructure faces. This provides the foundation for understanding the need to develop an integrated and common set of solutions that incorporates co-benefits to solve more than one problem at the same time, that is, simultaneously for different kinds of hazards, different types of infrastructures, and infrastructures that affect or have interdependencies with transportation. Types of funding sources and innovative technologies that are becoming available to support protection and recovery are discussed in terms of their ability to integrate multiple hazards and address areas of need.

2009

Abstract

In this paper the causes and consequences of accidents in US hazardous liquid pipelines that result in the unplanned release of hazardous liquids are examined. Understanding how different causes of accidents are associated with consequence measures can provide important inputs into risk management for this (and other) critical infrastructure systems. Data on 1582 accidents related to hazardous liquid pipelines for the period 2002–2005 are analyzed. The data were obtained from the US Department of Transportation’s Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS). Of the 25 different causes of accidents included in the data the most common ones are equipment malfunction, corrosion, material and weld failures, and incorrect operation. This paper focuses on one type of consequence–various costs associated with these pipeline accidents–and causes associated with them. The following economic consequence measures related to accident cost are examined: the value of the product lost; public, private, and operator property damage; and cleanup, recovery, and other costs. Logistic regression modeling is used to determine what factors are associated with nonzero product loss cost, nonzero property damage cost and nonzero cleanup and recovery costs. The factors examined include the system part involved in the accident, location characteristics (offshore versus onshore location, occurrence in a high consequence area), and whether there was liquid ignition, an explosion, and/or a liquid spill. For the accidents associated with nonzero values for these consequence measures (weighted) least squares regression is used to understand the factors related to them, as well as how the different initiating causes of the accidents are associated with the consequence measures. The results of these models are then used to construct illustrative scenarios for hazardous liquid pipeline accidents. These scenarios suggest that the magnitude of consequence measures such as value of product lost, property damage and cleanup and recovery costs are highly dependent on accident cause and other accident characteristics. The regression models used to construct these scenarios constitute an analytical tool that industry decision-makers can use to estimate the possible consequences of accidents in these pipeline systems by cause (and other characteristics) and to allocate resources for maintenance and to reduce risk factors in these systems.

2008

Abstract

Quantitative risk assessment is a growing, important component of the larger field of risk assessment. The need to understand the risks of an activity, be it economic, environmental, public health/biomedical, or even based on terrorist or other hazardous impacts, has led to a number of methods of analysis for many different application scenarios. Indeed, all major areas of the larger endeavor - hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization - rely on and benefit from quantitative operations. Within these contexts, enhanced understanding of both the variability and the uncertainty inherent in the risk identification process is critically dependent upon proper implementation of appropriate statistical methodologies.

Zimmerman, R., Restrepo, C. & Simonoff, J.S.. Infrastructure Disruptions and Recovery Rates in Disasters. ASCE Metropolitan Section Infrastructure Group Technical Seminar "New York City Infrastructure Critical Needs," Polytechnic University, March 24-25, pp. 28-35.

2007

Abstract

In this paper we analyze vulnerability of the elderly during natural hazard events at the macro level using the geographical distribution of the U.S. elderly population at the county level. The elderly population is defined as persons aged 65 years or older. We use data from the Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database to identify counties with high frequencies of natural hazards events, such as hurricanes, from 1995 to 2005 and we identify characteristics of the elderly population in those counties. This analysis can be extended to other natural hazards. Future work will use regression modeling to incorporate socioeconomic variables such as poverty, race, and ethnicity to identify elderly populations that may be particularly vulnerable to natural hazards to be used as a guide for managing risks to vulnerable populations.

Abstract

Incident data about disruptions to the electric power grid provide useful information that can be used as inputs into risk management policies in the energy sector for disruptions from a variety of origins, including terrorist attacks. This article uses data from the Disturbance Analysis Working Group (DAWG) database, which is maintained by the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), to look at incidents over time in the United States and Canada for the period 1990-2004. Negative binomial regression, logistic regression, and weighted least squares regression are used to gain a better understanding of how these disturbances varied over time and by season during this period, and to analyze how characteristics such as number of customers lost and outage duration are related to different characteristics of the outages. The results of the models can be used as inputs to construct various scenarios to estimate potential outcomes of electric power outages, encompassing the risks, consequences, and costs of such outages.

Abstract

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines environmental justice as "...the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies."2 Environmental injustice has been defined as the disproportionate exposure of communities of color and poor people, or other vulnerable groups, such as children and the elderly, to environmental risks.3

In the analyses described in this article, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)4 techniques and models were used extensively to facilitate and streamline the analysis of demographic and socioeconomic data about people living in close proximity to waste transfer stations and major highways, and to determine whether a disproportionate number of people in communities of color and poor people live in proximity to these sites. The area of application for this analysis was a portion of the South Bronx, New York.

 

Abstract

As suggested by the title, this is a collection of essays on the economic effects of successful terrorist attacks focusing on the electrical transmission, and transportation infrastructure of the United States. Those familiar with the literature on the economic effects of natural disasters will
find the arguments and economic models quite familiar. The individual essays are by leading experts who do not necessarily agree on the most appropriate methods or policy conclusions. This provides a refreshing measure of potential controversy.

2005

Abstract

Although direct terrorist attacks on the oil and gas sector have not occurred in the United States, there are many recorded attacks on the sector in a large number of countries around the world. The statistical analysis and other evaluations of these data provide an important foundation for identifying case events that can be selected for an in-depth evaluation of the role of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) in the disabling and rate of recovery of the oil and gas system. This report analyzes international terrorist attacks using a database from the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT) which includes information about terrorist attacks from all over the world affecting all sectors, including oil and gas. The report looks at annual data for the period 1990-2005 with a special emphasis on attacks occurring in countries with the highest number of attacks during this period. Section 1 provides an introduction to the report. Section 2 looks at the number of incidents, including total incidents over time, attacks on the oil and gas sector as a percentage of total terrorist attacks, and incidents over time by geographical region. In Section 3 the number of fatalities associated with the attacks is examined, along with the fatalities associated with attacks on the oil and gas sector as a percentage of all fatalities associated with terrorist attacks. Section 4 looks at injuries associated with the attacks, and the injuries associated with attacks on the oil and gas sector as a percentage of all injuries associated with terrorist attacks. Section 5 provides a brief discussion about the association between injuries and fatalities. Section 6 contains a discussion of the kinds of components attacked. Finally, Section 7 ends with some concluding remarks. Although the terrorist attacks on the oil and gas sector are a relatively small proportion of terrorist attacks overall, the data show that a significant number of attacks have occurred over the period 1990-2005, suggesting that the sector is vulnerable. If terrorist groups feel that carrying out a physical attack within the United States is too difficult they could turn their attention to other vulnerabilities such as SCADA systems.

2004

Abstract

The South Bronx is a low-income, minority community in New York City. It has one of the highest asthma rates in the country, which community residents feel is related to poor air quality. Community residents also feel that the air quality data provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through its network of monitoring stations do not reflect the poor quality of the air they breathe. This is due to the fact that these monitoring stations are located 15 m above ground. In the year 2001 this project collected air quality data at three locations in the study area. They were collected close to ground-level at a height of 4 m by a mobile laboratory placed in a van as part of the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study. This paper compares data collected by the project with data from DEC's monitoring stations in Bronx County during the same periods. The goal of the comparison is to gain a better understanding of differences in measured air quality concentrations at these different heights. Although there is good agreement in the data among DEC stations there are some important differences between ground-level measurements and DEC data. For PM2.5 the measured concentrations by the van were similar to those recorded by DEC stations. In the case of ozone, the concentrations recorded at ground level were similar or lower than those recorded by DEC stations. For NO2, however, the concentrations recorded at ground level were over twice as high as those recorded by DEC. In the case of SO2, ground level measurements were substantially higher in August but very similar in the other two periods. CO concentrations measured at ground-level tend to be 60–90% higher than those recorded by DEC monitoring stations. Despite these differences, van measurements of SO2 and CO concentrations were well below EPA standards.

2001

Abstract

The dramatic growth in the development and use of information technology (IT) has had an untold impact upon the nature and performance of the fundamental infrastructure systems that support our economy and social environment. The use of IT is no doubt already pervasive in these infrastructure systems from design and planning through operations and maintenance. IT has the potential to address many of the quality issues that infrastructure has faced, by providing detection capability for infrastructure condition, coordination of complex operations, and integration of multi-modal and multi-locational facilities to provide seamless services to consumers. Still to be understood are not only the opportunities IT provides (for example, in terms of improved performance) but also the barriers to its use (for example, in terms of IT and infrastructure compatibility). Moreover, little is known about how IT influences infrastructure and the social systems it supports. This white paper provides a background for the development of a research agenda that addresses both interrelationships between IT and infrastructure and its impacts ranging from infrastructure operations to social systems.

1999

Abstract

Better Environmental Decisions responds to the need for improved environmental decision making by bringing together leading scholars and practitioners to provide a comprehensive interdisciplinary introduction to the subject. Each chapter describes an important aspect of environmental decision making; identifies key issues, problems, and barriers; and recommends ways to improve both the process and the final result.

1998

Abstract

The infrastructure of the Metro East Coast region (MEC, with New York City at its core) is the largest, oldest, densest, and busiest in the nation. It serves some 20 million people and built assets exceed $1 trillion. Currently there is considerable stress on the system with key problems identified as: undercapacity, underinvestment, inconsistent management suburban sprawl, and lack of long-term integrated region-wide planning. These problems are exacerbated by fragmentation of governance across competing jurisdictions. Unclear funding mechanisms, spotty economic performance, and deferred infrastructure maintenance are severe stress factors. Spatial and functional inter-connectedness between different types of infrastructure allows failures to cascade through the system - at times even shutting down substantial segments, all at a high societal cost. A special problem is lack of a farsighted solid waste management strategy. Despite these severe stresses, the system somehow manages to deliver essential services to a large population.

 

1997

Abstract

The nation continues to experience major problems in the performance of its infrastructure in spite of the considerable investment of resources to expand capacity, increase accessibility, and exploit innovative technologies for infrastructure improvement. Some problems can be solved with incremental changes that retain the current specialized and categorical organization of infrastructure endeavors. Others, however, require a broad, sweeping, interdisciplinary perspective. Problems in this latter group may require the interaction of the sciences with engineering to address a materials problem, to identify statistical trends in performance, or to understand the environmental impacts of the design, construction or operation of a facility.

1995

Zimmerman, R.. Final Report for the NY Statewide Transportation Master Plan/ Early Outreach Session Reports. Prepared for the NYS Department of Transportation. January .

1985

Abstract

Examines the relationship between emergency management and governmental policies on technological disasters. Exploration of whether or not disasters exist from man-made technologies involving hazardous materials and what mechanisms are currently in place to cope with such emergencies; Review of incidents involving environmental contamination; Regulations in place to deal with contaminations; Conclusion that laws have become powerful tools for detecting and mitigating against environmental problems.

1982

Abstract

Examines ways in which organizations adapt to changing risk assessments in the U.S. through the development of organizational forms during times of crisis. Emergence of institutional conflict in setting risk standards; Organization adaptation to high risk environments; Patterns for the formation of organizations; Differences and conflicts among administrative agencies involved in risk management.

1975

Abstract

Examines variance of the shift and share projection formulation. Use of the shift share method in explaining historical trends in regional employment; Examination of the predictive power of the variant against the standard formulation; Evaluation of alternative projection methods for industries grouped into local market and supply-oriented categories.