Climate Change in Dutch Railway Infrastructure: Towards a Framework for Adaptation Strategies

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Extreme meteorological events such as floods, droughts, heatwaves, and storms cause significant damage to infrastructures across the world. These events can damage expensive infrastructural assets, but can also incur a high societal cost when disrupting the transportation of people, goods, and energy. Due to climate change, these extreme meteorological events will increase in severity and frequency in the coming decades. Infrastructural management organizations are, therefore, looking to adapt their infrastructural assets to cope with this. Existing literature stresses the need for translating climate risks and opportunities into concrete, mitigating actions. In practice, however, this translation poses a significant challenge for infrastructural management organizations. The challenges are further exacerbated by the high number of dependencies, and the need for alignment with both operational and strategic objectives and the interests of multiple internal and external stakeholders. To address this gap, a framework for identifying climate adaptation strategies and prioritizing the risks and actions is proposed. The framework can be used to identify, organize, and prioritize the ‘missing links’ between climate risk and adaptation strategies by taking into account synergies, prioritization, and an integral view. The novel features of the presented framework are explained by comparing it to practice at a Dutch railway infrastructural management organization. The evaluation of the preliminary framework suggests that it can assist railway infrastructural management organizations with developing concrete climate adaptation strategies in a smart way.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th International Conference on Through-life Engineering Service
PublisherSocial Science Research Network (SSRN)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2021
Event10th International Conference on Through-life Engineering Service, TESCONF 2021 - Online Event
Duration: 16 Nov 202117 Nov 2021
Conference number: 10


Conference10th International Conference on Through-life Engineering Service, TESCONF 2021
Abbreviated titleTESCONF 2021
CityOnline Event


  • Adaptation strategy
  • Climate adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Infrastructure management
  • Railway infrastructure


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