The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has funded the Center of Excellence for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning (NIST-CoRE) at Colorado State University. This five-year and $20 million grant was awarded to Principal Investigators Bruce Ellingwood and John Van de Lindt in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The goal of NIST-CORE is to develop system-level models and databases that will provide the technology for enhancing community resilience.

The Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis has partnered with NIST-CORE to help lead a series of field studies in up to five disaster-affected communities to be carried out over the duration of the project. In collaboration with other experts on the center team, we will collect immediate post-event data, as well as data in the longer-term aftermath of the event, in order to better understand post-disaster recovery and community resilience of each location. The findings from the field studies will support the development and testing of a resilience algorithm that will be used to help local communities and governments decide how to best invest resources to lessen the impact of extreme weather and other hazards on buildings and infrastructure. At the close of the five-year term, the Center of Excellence will have the option to apply for an additional five years of funding.


The ability to model community disaster resilience comprehensively requires that experts from a number of disciplines work in concert to systematically model how physical, economic and social infrastructure systems within a real community interact and affect recovery efforts. There are currently no models that consider all aspects of how a natural disaster affects a community or measure its resilience quantitatively. The Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning is unique in merging the disciplines of Engineering, Social Sciences and Economics to model community resilience comprehensively. Systems that are essential for the recovery and vitality of a community - technological, financial, social and political support, healthcare delivery, education, and public administration - are being integrated in the model, creating a nexus between social and technological infrastructure networks that will narrow the gap between engineering and social science aspects of resilience planning and will facilitate risk communication among stakeholders and community resilience planners. The work products from the Center will provide a quantitative and science-based approach to community resilience assessment and, for the first time, will support a business case for enhancing disaster resilience at the community level.

Full validation of the system architecture in NIST-CORE will be possible through extensive field studies focused on community resilience and recovery rather than simply infrastructure damage and failure studies. NIST-CORE will be able to answer detailed questions on the lingering effects of natural disasters on communities; population dislocation, health and the well being of the residents, impacts across the economic spectrum as well as the fiscal impacts, thereby assessing community resilience and disaster recovery via a suite of resilience metrics.


The Center Team is composed of more than 90 individuals, including researchers, programmers/developers, NIST collaborators, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students from mulitple University Partners. Working closely in teams on more than 40 tasks, the Center of Excellence will provide a common data architecture by collaborating with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to ensure that data from around the world can be seamlessly integrated into a robust computational environment known as NIST-CORE.


The Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning is funded by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

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