The 3rd International Conference on Natural Hazards and Infrastructure (ICONHIC) was organized in Athens, Greece in early July. The conference’s main theme was “Resilience and Sustainability of the Infrastructure” especially due to its exposure to increased risks created by Climate Change. The motto sounds more timely than ever, as plenty of our infrastructure systems at their present state are at high risk of not sustaining the extreme loading conditions imposed by natural disasters. The situation is exacerbated by the apparent deficiency of resources for maintenance or upgrading. Our planet is experiencing the roughest ecological disruption in its history, from climate change to biodiversity loss. Acute hazards, such as heatwaves and floods, grow in frequency and severity, while chronic hazards, such as drought and rising sea levels, intensify.
The Conference covered a rich spectrum of diverse topics including resilient design and lifecycle assessment of infrastructure, project financing and climate change, insurance, digital twins and big data, extraterrestrial hazards, earth observation and remote sensing, net-zero and sustainable design.
Bill M. Halkias, Immediate Past President and Member of the Board of International Road Federation (IRF) was invited to be part of two panels. In the first panel he represented IBTTA as it is currently its 2nd Vice President and set the stage by presenting IBTTA’s position on Climate Change. The panel discussion that followed focused on what climate risks, mitigation, adaptation and resilience mean for stakeholders and why it is essential that all stakeholders understand each other.
In the second panel Bill Halkias represented the International Road Federation (IRF) and outlined IRF’s position devoted to how climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience can be incorporated in project structuring.