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News

EU Project examines effects of extreme weather events on transport disruption

VTT Technical Research Centre : 13 January, 2010  (Technical Article)
Finnish research centre heads EWENT project designed to analyse traffic disruption probabilities based on the occurrence of extreme weather events
The EU has launched a research project which is studying the effects of extreme weather events on the safety and reliability of traffic systems. The EWENT project, which is coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, will also estimate the cost effects of weather-related disruptions. The project is motivated by the concern over the increase in extreme weather events caused by climate change.

The EWENT project supports ways of mitigating the effects of extreme weather events on the transport of people and goods. The study will focus on the safety and reliability of air, ground and water transport as well as on the cost effects of traffic disruptions.

The project will identify dangerous extreme weather events and estimate their probability and effects. It will also estimate the cost effects of traffic disruptions, such as costs associated with human casualties, material damages and discontinued supply chains.

"A lot of information exists about the effects of weather events, but this is the first project which intends to estimate their cost effects methodically," says EWENT Coordinator Pekka Leviäkangas from VTT.

The main purpose of the project is to support adaptation to climate change. In addition to the authorities, the project results may be useful for businesses, project financers and insurers. The results can be leveraged in various ways, such as in creating sizing criteria of infrastructures, pointing out needs for enhanced maintenance capabilities, development of cooperation between authorities and preparedness for exceptional conditions. The pre-engineering of co-European and national Risk Management methods and processes is one of the project's key tasks.

The project will be carried out between 2010 and 2012. The total project budget is approximately 2 million euros.

The participants of the EWENT project coordinated by VTT are: German Aerospace Center (Germany), Institute of Transport Economics (Norway), Foreca Consulting Ltd (Finland), Finnish Meteorological Institute (Finland), Meteorological Service in Cyprus (Cyprus), Österreichische Wasserstrassen GmbH (Austria), European Severe Storms Laboratory (Germany) and World Meteorological Organisation (UN).

The Consultative Board of the project consists of representatives from the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications, the European Investment Bank, OECD, insurance company Allianz and the Polytechnic University of Turin.
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