Preparing for the Future with Modern Regional Resiliency Planning

September 3, 2021

Brian Rock
Accelerated Director of Marketing, Bentley Systems

No community ever wants to think that a disaster will affect them, but, as the COVID-19 pandemic has proven, it’s always important to be prepared…just in case. Resilient cities have systems and processes that can withstand, respond to, and adapt to disaster situations. They can further mitigate the impact of disasters, recover more quickly, and operate better at all times.

When disaster strikes, the most resilient regions have the resources necessary and redundancies in place in all parts of their infrastructure and region. Of course, it takes multiple departments and potentially hundreds of stakeholders working together and coordinating quickly and efficiently under challenging circumstances to make this happen. Such coordination requires establishing a shared vision and buy-in from all key parties, which can be an obstacle.

The Digital Transformation of Resiliency Planning

Modernization is impacting much of the way business – including government business – is done. These changes include resiliency planning, which has moved from the old-fashioned pen-and-paper practice to complex software that combines hundreds of disconnected data points into one interactive and intelligent output. Modern technology such as digital twins and visualization are changing how resiliency planning is done.

Modern digital tools give planners and decision-makers clearer pictures of current conditions and how decisions impact future events. This clearer picture leads to better plans that mitigate the impact of disasters and set up communities to bounce back quicker.

Modern Resiliency Planning as an Organizational Philosophy

Changing the way government agencies handle their regional resiliency planning is the key to preparing for the future. When resiliency is integrated throughout the local government, and each department or agency understands what to do and when to do it, planning becomes less of a list of action items and more of a strategy and, eventually, a continuous philosophy.

It’s not easy to do and requires a lot of moving parts to operate in unison. However, creating systems, processes, and workflows that feature several specific essential qualities will go a long way. By adopting a new way to plan for the future, government systems will be inherently more resilient and agencies will be better prepared for disasters. Qualities of an effective resiliency planning philosophy include:

  • Reflective: Use past experiences to make better decisions in the future.
  • Resourceful: Maximize all available resources and find new ways of using them.
  • Robust: Systems are well built and designed to withstand failures.
  • Redundant: Should one system fail, others are prepared to pick up the slack and minimize impact to citizens.
  • Flexible: Be prepared to use alternative methods to solve difficult problems.
  • Inclusive: Belief in shared ownership and joint visions, bringing in as many voices as possible.
  • Integrated: Multiple systems, departments, and agencies are brought together to tackle a single issue.
  • Digital Twin Technology as a Catalyst for Resilient Cities and Counties

    Digital twins, by their very nature, help to create digital plans that include the above characteristics. Digital twin platforms create a 3D digital version of real-world physical space. For regional resiliency planning, this replication of the real world helps governments visualize how disaster scenarios could impact communities. By visualizing simulations, agencies are able to create more thoughtful and complete response plans.

    Digital twins also provide a certain level of visibility and show how different systems are connected. For example, water and electrical systems may not be directly connected, but they do interact. And, both work with transportation, which is connected to public works and so on. Creating plans that effectively model the complexity and chain reactions can be daunting, but digital twins software can simplify this by integrating different types of data to create a single, comprehensive, inter-related model.

    What-if scenarios are crucial to effective planning. Digital twins can help, and can show a greater level of granularity. How does traffic flow if a main thoroughfare is closed? If a river floods, what happens? If the power goes out at a major facility, can city services still function? Government decision-makers have better data, which enables them to make better, well-informed decisions.

    Finding better ways to help your stakeholders visualize your planned infrastructure projects with a clear vision and bridged communication gaps is the secret to faster approval. Showing them the benefits of your projects will always be more effective than explaining them. Bentley can help.

    Bentley OpenCities Planner Helps Government Prepare for Future Disasters

    OpenCities Planner from Bentley is digital twin software that makes it easy to visualize and understand how to plan for resiliency and test how prepared a community is for different scenarios. OpenCities Planner takes existing data and turns it into a powerful 3D visualization that is easy to access, engage with and understand, promoting good decision-making.

    The platform runs in the cloud and is accessible from any web browser on almost any device. It’s designed for non-engineers to use and is easily shareable, including with the public. OpenCities Planner takes information from the page and shifts it to a 3D environment, enabling government agencies to move from explaining what their resiliency plan is to showing it.

    Contact a Carahsoft representative to get started

    Your Carahsoft representative can get you started with an OpenCities Planner demonstration showing how the software better prepares your agency for future disasters. Digital twins are key to resiliency planning, and OpenCities Planner is a simple, accessible option that helps make the best decision.

    Download Our Free Resource to find out more about Bentley’s OpenCities Planner City-scale Digital Twin Planning and Visualization Software. Contact a Carahsoft representative to set up a demonstration today.