STA in Action

Roads and streets submerged by the flood

30 Nov STA Technical Report 1/2018 – “Best-Practice Guidelines for the Adaptation of Roads to Climate Change” authored by Dr Elena De La Peña and Ms Mónica López

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identifies that regions such as North America and Europe are working on transversal adaptation policies in all areas of government, as well as protecting transportation and energy infrastructures, while in other regions, such as Latin America are still taking their first steps. Approximately 25% of the losses from natural disasters in the Latin America Region fall upon the transport sector. The adaptation of roads to climate change aims to anticipate the adverse effects of climate and take appropriate measures to avoid or minimize the damage they may cause, in order to reduce future costs and maximize investment profitability. These adaptation measures should be focused in the short, medium and long term, and complemented with environmental management, planning and disaster risk management components.

The “Best-Practice Guidelines for the Adaptation of Roads to Climate Change”, published by CAF – development bank of Latin America, and developed by the Ibero-American Road Institute (IVIA) and the Spanish Road Association (AEC), aim to generate knowledge about the importance of defining infrastructure adapted to the climate throughout its life cycle, as well as to show examples, actions and measures of good practices that could be useful for its application to road projects. The Guidelines consider not only new construction of roads, but also existing road networks and seek to transfer the importance of developing strategies to incorporate the mentioned adaptation measures, considering all the stakeholders involved in the Region, both public and private.

These Guidelines are an interesting contribution to improving knowledge about the importance of incorporating measures of adaptation to climate variability and change in planning, design, construction, maintenance and management of roads. You can obtain the full paper here.