Resilience of Critical Infrastructure

The availability and functionality of transport routes is essential for social participation, the maintenance of supply and disposal and further economic development. This is particularly true against the background of our globalised society. For this reason, transport routes are among the so-called critical infrastructures. Their protection is given the highest priority by the Federal Government and the European Commission.

At the same time, natural or man-made threats that can lead to the (partial) failure of transport routes due to their vulnerability are increasing in importance. These include, for example, threats from extreme weather events favoured by climate change and threats from terrorism.

In order to protect our transport routes from these dangers, it is necessary to increase their resilience. Resilient transport routes are prepared for hazards and can ward them off, cope with them, recover from them as quickly as possible and adapt to them ever more successfully.

We develop procedures and methods within the framework of research projects to identify particularly critical parts of transport networks. We find solutions that enable an analysis of the threat situations and an assessment of their impacts and risks. Together with partners from various disciplines, we evaluate measures and instruments to increase the resilience of transport routes in a targeted manner. Our analyses focus equally on the network-wide traffic flow as well as on the individual road users and aim at their effective protection. PTV's simulation and modelling tools are an integral part of the procedures we develop and enable us to make well-founded statements based on reliable data.

Our fields of action

We offer solutions that can be used to specifically show owners and operators of transport infrastructures which network sections are to be assessed as particularly critical and which measures are suitable for their protection against the background of the overall economic importance of transport networks:

  • Analyses for the identification of critical transport infrastructures
  • Concepts and cost assessments for relevant infrastructure protection measures
  • Vulnerability analyses, risk and resilience assessments
  • Model-based identification of transport impacts
  • Resilience management concepts

Our product portfolio supports you on this and many other topics.

Our research projects 

Bridges and tunnels are indispensable engineering structures for providing efficient and safe road connections in urban and rural areas. However, they often represent particularly critical infrastructures due to their usually geographically determined bottleneck function for the road network. In the BMBF-funded research projects SKRIBT and SKRIBTPlus, the EU project SeRoN and the project Traffic Impacts of the Unavailability of Road Tunnels, which was commissioned by the Federal Highway Research Institute, we developed methods to quantify the criticality of tunnels and bridges for a large number of structures based on traffic models. In order to be able to protect these in a targeted manner, we also developed risk-based procedures in the projects with which protective measures can be assessed in macroeconomic terms, also on the basis of traffic models.

Public transport networks are an indispensable part of the overall transport infrastructure, especially in urban areas. Therefore, in the French-German research project U-THREAT, which was funded on the German side by the BMBF, we developed model-based procedures to determine the vulnerability of public transport stations.

A comprehensive infrastructure management is indispensable in order to maintain transport infrastructure, its vulnerability to individual threats and its resilience. However, a holistic, systematic management that assesses the overarching system resilience and enables the evaluation of resilience measures has been lacking until now. Therefore, together with partners, we are developing and testing concepts for a resilience management system in the project Testing and Optimisation of a Resilience Management Concept for the Federal Highway Research Institute.