Information Exchange: Publications

Planning Tools to Protect Border Area Infrastructure

Author: Rae Zimmerman and Carlos E. Restrepo

Presentation at the 2006 World Planning Schools Congress
Mexico City, Mexico. "Border areas represent portals between cities, regions, states, and countries through which people, materials, and services flow. Border areas have gained new prominence because of their role in security and vulnerability to natural hazards. Functional and land use aspects of infrastructure supporting border areas are critical to understanding the vulnerability of border areas, since border functions are dependent on such infrastructure. The characteristics and behavior of the infrastructure in these areas generally have not been an explicit concern of planning per se, because they have been under the purview of specialized disciplines. One set of characteristics, the extent to which infrastructures are concentrated within border areas, is an important indication of the vulnerability of those borders. For example, half of the electric power facilities, oil refineries, pipelines, and transit facilities are concentrated in fewer than a dozen states (Zimmerman 2006; Parfomak 2005). Usage and capacity show similar concentration patterns, in particular, in transportation and energy distribution corridors that connect borders to other areas. Interdependencies among these infrastructures, in particular, where such infrastructures are collocated or are functionally dependent on one another, escalate such vulnerabilities. This paper provides a planning method and framework for characterizing infrastructure land use in border areas, the role these infrastructures play in supporting border viability, characteristics of infrastructure that contribute to vulnerability, and how these infrastructures also support emergency management functions in times of crisis. Measures of infrastructure concentration are designed for infrastructure at border areas in terms of facilities, capacity, value, and usage. Measures of interdependency (Zimmerman and Restrepo 2006) are also adapted to border infrastructure. These are applied to border area infrastructure at U.S. borders that support air transport, water transport, and energy infrastructure. Demonstrations are presented for electric power and cyber infrastructures supporting oil and gas facilities in the Gulf Coast, airport hubs, and seaports along the eastern U.S. In addition, the manner in which border infrastructure is a vehicle for the transport of disease vectors is also presented. These measures provide tools for planners to target areas of vulnerability and design risk management options for both security and natural hazards planning. This work is supported by several research grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Grant Numbers N00014-05-1-0630 of the Office of Naval Research through CREATE, USC; 2003-TK-TX-0003, I3P, Dartmouth College; and 2004-GT-TX-0001, CCPR, NYU. Points of view in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security."

Date Created: December 2011; Date Posted: September 2006






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