Tackling threats to transport and other key infrastructure

Sep 30, 2013
Tackling threats to transport and other key infrastructure

Effective and efficient transportation plays a crucial role not only in the everyday lives of citizens, but also in ensuring the on-going economic wellbeing of communities and countries. People are able to get to work on time, goods are transported in a cost-effective manner and energy is used as efficiently as possible.

This is why disruption to transport, whether intentional or not, can cause such damage. And as public transport is by its nature open and accessible to everyone, it is susceptible to terrorist attack, as seen all too clearly in the 2005 London bombings and the coordinated attack on four commuter trains in Madrid in 2004.

Other critical infrastructures such as power grids or water plants are also a growing concern to governments. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters - both natural and industrial - like the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 underline the fact that risks are not only related to terrorism.

This is why the EU SECONOMICS is of such importance to the long term wellbeing of Europe. By bringing together a multinational team of security practitioners, economists and engineers, the project aims to produce a policy toolkit that can effectively assist decision makers in identifying and reacting to public transportation and critical infrastructures threats.

The project began in 2012 under the assumption that achieving 100% protection of transport and other critical infrastructures is neither realistic nor sustainable. The goal instead, says the consortium, should be on minimising threats in the most cost-efficient way possible. SECONOMICS therefore first set out to identify and mitigate major security threats by exploring the implementation of coordinated solutions that could work at the European level.

The project has also investigated the economic causes and consequences of insecurity and the impact on the perception of citizens and the direct and indirect costs of implementation. Cost calculations placed specific emphasis on increased hidden costs, decreased efficiency and trans-boundary impacts such as the interaction between security behaviour and economic growth.

Following on from this, project case studies successfully identified key security threats in transport - air and metro - and other critical infrastructure. In this way, the challenges of achieving pan-European security coordination have been dealt with.

It is expected that SECONOMICS, which is due for completion in January 2015, will provide a significant contribution to the development of state of the art security modelling, using the latest technological tools available. Through cutting edge risk assessments and analysis of the social context, it is hoped that optimal policies will be developed.

Indeed, the lasting impact of the project, says the consortium will be a methodological revolution driven by a common, but diverse set, of modelling tools that seamlessly transverses the social, economic and technological domains. The project is being carried out by an international consortium operating with 11 partners from seven different countries.

Explore further: Boosting sustainability policy in Russia

More information: www.seconomicsproject.eu/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Boosting sustainability policy in Russia

Aug 29, 2013

Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area. So it is in everyone's interest to see that its lawmakers deliver sound policies when it comes ...

Attitudes towards security threats uncovered

Nov 27, 2012

New research has revealed a significant gap between what the government claims are the biggest security threats facing the UK and the fears of the population. Terrorism is not perceived as the most important ...

Enhanced solar power by dry-cooled energy generation

May 22, 2013

A cutting edge system is being developed to deploy more solar-based energy plants, enabling the delivery of cleaner power more efficiently, while keeping Europe at the leading edge of energy technologies.

Will climate change cause water conflict?

Dec 12, 2012

International researchers from 14 institutions met in Nicosia (Cyprus) on the 10th and 11th of December to present and debate the results of studies on water, conflict and security conducted in the past three years in a variety ...

Human rights policy in the right frame

Jul 01, 2013

More than 100 leading human rights researchers and practitioners have joined forces in a new EU-funded project which aims to provide the necessary building blocks for coherent EU human rights policies, both ...

Recommended for you

Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

Apr 19, 2014

Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

Apr 18, 2014

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

Apr 16, 2014

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Sep 30, 2013
Whenever the word 'threat' is seen, the next thought should be of N. N. Taleb's Anti-Fragile and robustness. Infrastructure can only be robust against known threats. Here, walking pedestrians are anti-fragile. Industry may be robust, local production/consumption can be anti-fragile.

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...