Assessing critical infrastructure vulnerability: The CIrcle Approach

“Critical Infrastructures: Relations and Consequences for Life and Environment” (CIrcle) is an interactive online open tool which facilitates stakeholder engagement in the assessment of the vulnerability of CI and the consequences of its failure during a flood event. The results of a CIrcle session can subsequently be used in an interactive 3D model supporting the visualization and quantification of direct and cascading flood impacts as well as an exploration and evaluation of adaptation measures enhancing flood resilience of critical infrastructure systems and communities. This information is essential to strengthen both adaptation planning and preparedness and response capacities to reduce and prevent losses during events.


The CIrcle workshop concept consists of three main elements: 1) Participatory stakeholder engagement, 2) open data and 3) visualization.

The CI infrastructure relationships identified and obtained during the first workshop, were used to simulate critical infrastructure failure and cascades during a future rain-induced flooding scenario with sea level rise. The simulation was reviewed during the second workshop. Besides reviewing the simulated cascading impacts of CI failure, the second workshop targeted an in-depth analysis of two main CI sectors, viz. electricity and roads, using the 2017 flood experiences (June rain event and hurricane Irma). Additionally, a bow-tie analysis supported an exploration of different measures that could reduce or prevent causes and impacts of these CI failures.


Critical infrastructure relationships identified during the first workshop

The project partners have organized a webinar to present the CIrcle Tool, share their experiences and give guidance on how the CIrcle tool can be used for other case study areas.

The CIrcle Tool is a new, open online tool to support stakeholders, in a workshop setting, in assessing the resilience of CI systems to floods. The tool has a graphical user-friendly interface capturing shared knowledge and visualizing infrastructure interdependencies. The results of a Circle session can subsequently be used in an interactive 3D model supporting: the visualization and quantification of direct and cascading flood impacts in areas of interest; and the identification, evaluation and prioritization of adaptation measures enhancing flood resilience of critical infrastructure systems and communities.

The CIFRe webinar “Guidance for Application of the CIrcle Tool” took place on Monday, September 24, 2018, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET. You can watch the recordings of the webinar below.