resilient cities

These Three Long-term Steps Can Help Cities Minimize Extreme Weather Damage and Disruption

By: Lidija Sekaric, PhD, Director of Strategy and Marketing, Siemens Distributed Energy Systems

The frequency and severity of weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, and extreme heat waves are continuing to increase. For the many cities at risk, resilience planning has emerged as a growing priority. Over the last three years in the United States, the number of annual billion-dollar weather disasters has more than doubled compared to the long-term average.

Much publicity and effort are given to the short-term preparations that should occur in the days and hours just before a storm hits. However, there are several proactive, long-term steps that forward-thinking municipalities can take to heighten the level of city resiliency:

  1. Strengthen power system resiliency: Hybrid power grids, those systems that integrate distributed-energy systems with a centralized grid, lessen the economic impact of weather variability, while reducing human safety risk. By installing more decentralized and locally controlled power sources, as well as microgrids, power can be restored more quickly as multiple sources of energy and storage can support critical and other functions.
  2. Use simulation tools to project potential outcomes: Planning software can help city officials to identify, before a disaster occurs, their biggest city-infrastructure resilience gaps. These tools can provide a roadmap for identifying the investments that generate the biggest safety and cost benefits.
  3. Prioritize city-infrastructure modernization: The digital transformation of core city-infrastructure systems such as power, water, and transportation allow for more connectivity, better data, and more precise predictive analysis and real-time awareness. In addition to lowering the costs of addressing the day-to-day needs of citizens, cities are also better prepared to recover from natural disasters by having resilience built into their technologies and processes. 

Siemens supports city-resiliency efforts as a technology adviser and partner. By providing robust distributed-energy solutions, and advanced software-simulation tools, Siemens helps city officials to better plan and implement resilient city infrastructures. To learn more, download our new city-resilience planning e-guide.