ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0336.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; economic development; equity; socially-equitable development; resilient and sustainable infrastructure; resilient and sustainable communities; disaster management
Online: 19 April 2020 (07:09:12 CEST)
This paper aims to provoke fundamental thinking and action around the value and importance of socially-equitable development to the economic advancement, resilience, and prosperity of communities, as we contend with the 21st Century grand challenge of the changing climate and disasters. As local communities and the global community have experienced an increased frequency, intensity and duration of natural and man-made disasters over the past several decades, opportunities have also grown to identify and reap the benefits of socially-equitable economic development. Reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic, we discuss the critical importance of socially-equitable economic development to the resilience and sustainability of communities and the infrastructure that supports them. To this end, we: (1) examine what constitutes socially-equitable economic development at different spatial scales of community; (2) explore whether socially-equitable development can occur at different scales of community; (3) explicate the importance of formally considering the inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes for socially-equitable development; (4) explain why the pursuit of equal distribution of the benefits and burdens of development is a necessary but not sufficient endeavor for socially-equitable economic development; (5) analyze the relationships between socially-equitable development, and resilient and sustainable infrastructure and communities; (6) explain why socially-equitable development should be a key component of infrastructure and community resilience strategies in the 21st Century; and, (7) explain why socially-equitable development can ultimately be viewed as a long-term strategy for prosperity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0047.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: sustainable development; system resilience; resilient and sustainable infrastructure; pandemics; COVID-19
Online: 6 April 2020 (10:14:50 CEST)
Humanity’s social and economic development has been challenged by a range of adversities over the millennia that have caused widespread and unimaginable suffering. At the same time, these challenges have forced humans to evolve more wisely, overcoming adversity through creativity and leading to advancements in science and technology, medicine, ethics and legal systems, and socio-political systems. The dynamics of risks and opportunities caused by COVID-19, in the built, cyber, social and economic environments, present opportunities for deepening our understanding of resilient and sustainable development and infrastructure. This article reflects on five lessons that COVID-19 is teaching us about what it means to develop sustainably through the lens of transportation: (1) sustainable development planning and analytical frameworks must be comprehensive, for long-term sustainability; (2) multi-modal transportation is a superior vision for sustainable development than any one particular mode; (3) tele-activities are part of an effective infrastructure sustainability strategy; (4) economic capital is critically important to sustainable development even when it is not a critical existential threat, and, (5) effective social capital is essential in global disaster resistance and recovery, and can and must be leveraged between fast-moving and slow-moving disasters. Resilient and sustainable infrastructure will continue to be critical to addressing evolving natural and man-made hazards in the 21st Century.