26 October 2021
Vue d'une route de campagne au niveau du bitume
M. Gaida
Cerema has contributed to the drafting of a guidance note for the G20, in order to formulate recommendations for investments in the maintenance and management of resilient infrastructures. This work was carried out by international experts as part of the Think 20, a G20 think tank.

In 2021, Cerema participated in the international work of Think20 (T20), a G20 think tank focused on innovation, which intends to provide input for the drafting of a policy brief on the maintenance of resilient infrastructure.

Fabien Palhol, Director of Research and Innovation and resilience referent at Cerema infrastructures and materials, worked alongside experts from Australia, Mexico and the United States under the direction of Jean-Bernard Kovarik from the Gustave Eiffel University.


What maintenance for resilient infrastructures?

Communiqué final du T20 - couverture
Coverage of the T20 final communiqué

Several recommendations from their work were included in the final communiqué of the T20 and will be forwarded to the G20 in preparation for the summit of heads of state and government from the different member states to be held in Rome on October 30 and 31.

This guidance note follows two other notes produced in preparation for the 2019 and 2020 G20s, on building and assessing resilient infrastructure.

Improved maintenance management and increased investment in infrastructure maintenance are helping infrastructures to be resilient to various threats (e.g., climate or human activities), and this for local resilience.

Such an approach is recognized as having real financial value in any country or community. Building on the issues highlighted in two previous papers produced in the context of the T20, Building Resilient Infrastructure Systems (2020) and Evaluating Resilient Infrastructure Systems (2020), this new guidance note:

  1. Calls for a maintenance methodology shared on a global scale that takes into account the specificities of developed and developing countries,

  2. Calls for the development of "infrastructure bonds" and standardized assessments including maintenance issues, in order to secure financial resources for the maintenance and development of resilient infrastructure

  3. Draws the attention of G20 members to the issue of human resilience and the human factor in ensuring the long-term maintainability of quality infrastructure, as well as the need to manage technical expertise.


A About the G20 and the T20...

The G20 leaders' summit will be held in Rome on October 30-31, 2021, with the participation of the G20 heads of states and governments, their counterparts from invited countries and representatives of some of the major international and regional organizations.

Traditionally, the ministers of economy and finance also participate in the event. The summit is the culmination of the G20 process and the final stage of the intense work done in ministerial meetings, working groups, and engagement groups throughout the year.

The Think20 (T20) is the official engagement group of the G20, which brings together leading think tanks and research centers from around the world. It serves as the G20's "think tank" and aims to provide G20 leaders with research-based policy and strategy recommendations.


Resilience of transport infrastructures at Cerema

panneau sur une route barrée en raison d'une inondation
Laurent Mignaux - TERRA

Among the many components of a national territory transportation networks have a special place. They are essential to connect communities, shape their economies and support the free flow of ideas, people, goods and services.

Subject to numerous natural and man-made hazards, transport infrastructures, most of which were built in the last century, must deal with climate change, which increases their vulnerability.

In this context, the lack of consideration for resilience in investments, new works, maintenance, rehabilitation or adaptation operations will prove to be extremely costly. Cerema has chosen to broaden the classic notion of resilience - often linked to a crisis or a specific event – by including the idea that to be resilient a system must also be adapted to a trend that may lead to adverse impacts in the shorter or the longer term.

When applied to transportation infrastructure, this means that for a manager from a local player to ensure that its network is capable not only to withstand a crisis or an unforeseen degradation, but also to adapt to chronic degradation (ageing), to changes in usage, to the availability of resources, technological innovations (autonomous vehicles, active mobility, etc.), regulatory innovations (changes in tonnages, etc.) and, more broadly, the mobility of of tomorrow. A prospective approach to resilience makes it possible to anticipate a certain number of risks.

The objective is twofold: to avoid what is possible but undesirable, and to provoke the necessary evolutions for the emergence of a future.

Through its recognized expertise on the topics of adaptation to climate change, Cerema supports the State and community managers in :

  • The assessment of vulnerabilities, prioritization of networks and the functionalities they carry,

  • The implementation of comprehensive adaptation solutions and resilience strategies that are comprehensive and specifically adapted to each area.