CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractThis paper explores the role of socioeconomic metrics in the design, planning and operations of civil engineering projects within the specific context of resilience. The inclusion of resilience analysis and design is consistent with the goals of the ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division (IRD) and related emerging standards and duties of civil engineers. This paper focuses on the practices in design, planning, construction, and operation of civil engineering projects that can deliver social value to communities and offers a set of socioeconomic metrics for consistently measuring these benefits. Socioeconomic metrics benchmark benefits including safety, social equity, health and well-being, prosperity, cohesion and inclusivity, and mobility and accessibility during the whole life-cycle of a project. A review of metrics is presented and expanded with an emphasis on the need for contextual narrative support to their application. The aim is to establish further the use of metrics in civil engineering projects to set values at the community level and formulate them to justify and rationalize resilience interventions and strategies. The reviewed concepts and categorized project metrics can be used by a range of actors in addition to civil engineers, such as urban planners, policy makers, or regional developers, preferably in a collaborative manner across these groups, particularly to help prioritize the investment of resources and funds to achieve resilience. Three project examples at differing levels of complexity are presented to conceptually illustrate the approaches outlined herein.IntroductionThe world increasingly exhibits characteristics of a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) state (Millar et al. 2018). Four of the five most expensive years on record for weather- and climate-related disasters in the US occurred in the last four years, causing more than US$59 billion in direct losses (NOAA 2021). These losses largely consist of the required repair of damaged infrastructure, and increase substantially when considering the cascading impacts of the need to rehouse disaster victims and of lost business revenue. The VUCA state is defined by a combination of shocks and stressors, such as climate change, increasing occurrence and intensity of extreme events, resource scarcity, increasing wealth inequality, political conflicts, social justice, an aging population, pandemics, housing shortages, population growth, traffic congestion, poor air and water quality, the displacement of labor forces through automation, and dysfunctional political governance (Scovronick et al. 2017; Wetzstein 2017; Glasser 2019). Together, this instability challenges the fixed notions of performance, operations and maintenance, and reliability that historically have defined civil engineering projects (Field and Look 2018).In response to this increasing uncertainty, and the fact that the complexity and interdependence of our infrastructure systems and projects (Ouyang 2014; Choi et al. 2019) are not reflected in current codes, the Infrastructure Resilience Division (IRD) of the ASCE was established in 2014. It had become apparent to the membership of the ASCE that an overarching effort to work across subdisciplines within civil engineering was needed to better articulate and facilitate common goals and objectives that consider the broader context of connected infrastructure systems. To address this issue, a number of technical committees were formed, including the Civil Infrastructure and Lifeline Systems Committee; the Disaster Response and Recovery Committee; the Emerging Technologies Committee; the Risk and Resilience Measurements Committee; and the Social Science, Policy, Economics, Education, and Decision Committee (SPEED). The SPEED committee focuses on integrating social science, policy, and economics into the planning, design, and management decisions surrounding physical infrastructure projects. The SPEED committee works across disciplines and consists not only of engineers, such as civil engineers, but also of sociologists and economists.This paper describes one timely project within the SPEED committee that focuses on identifying metrics that allow for quantification of socially driven outcomes into civil engineering projects within the discourse of resilience. Specifically, we aim to reemphasize that investing in resilience in the context of infrastructure systems delivers value by reducing disruption and speeding recovery, connecting our communities, supporting our way of life, delivering productivity gains and economic growth, reducing environmental impact, and providing enhanced protection. In this way, resilience in the context of infrastructure systems is an essential component of national well-being, and the development and maintenance of a national competitive advantage (Chang and Shinozuka 2004; Callaghan and Colton 2008; Gilbert and Ayyub 2016; Markhvida et al. 2020). The embeddedness of infrastructure systems within communities is signified further in the context of resilience, because merely withstanding disruptions is not sufficient for an infrastructure system when it cannot maintain its role in the community (Naderpajouh et al. 2018). For this purpose, we synthesized a range of socioeconomic metrics to establish further their incorporation into civil engineering projects, and discussed them in three case studies.Resilience in Civil EngineeringFundamental Canon 1 of the ASCE Code of Ethics states that “Engineers should seek opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and work for the advancement of the safety, health and well-being of their communities, and the protection of the environment through the practice of sustainable development.” Standard engineering design prioritizes safety, but largely has left health and well-being out of the equation. The latter is evident from an examination of recent disaster events in the US, in which nonstructural damage (e.g., the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake) and functionality failure (e.g., 2017 Hurricane Irma) caused widespread disruption and the majority of disaster losses and deaths. A change to the current approach, one that is based on resilience to include long-term socioeconomic considerations, profoundly is needed.The concept of resilience has been discussed extensively across domains, including engineering, disaster, ecological, socioecological, urban, and community variants (Davidson et al. 2016; Meerow et al. 2016). Application of resilience with domain-specific conceptual, analytical, and empirical knowledge range from descriptive single-equilibrum processes to the normative development of future stable states shaped by collective social learning. In practice, these different conceptualizations of resilience have been applied to phenomena of varying scales and complexity, ranging from designed components of enginseered public infrastructure to participartory models for community engagement (Keenan 2017).Engineering resilience has been internalized with varying degrees of analytical prowess with a focus on technical systems examining everything from systems engineering and software design to electrical engineering and microgrid design (Hosseini et al. 2016). Cross-disciplinary disaster researchers have associated disaster resilience with the addition of critical social dimensions and methodologies, namely those associated with social learning, the socialization of risk and responsibility, and human and public health (Cai et al. 2018; Tiernan et al. 2019). Bridging the material realm of engineering resilience with the social dimensions of disaster resilience, emerging scholarship and practice in community resilience has arisen as a means to understand methodologically the relationships between designed engineered systems and a range of users, managers, beneficiaries, and community stakeholders (Masoomi and van de Lindt 2019; Koliou et al. 2020). Although progress has been made in internalizing community resilience methods and knowledge into practice, there still is a pressing need to formalize and integrate the social and human dimensions into the analysis, design and management of technical systems (Sutley et al. 2017).ASCE Policy Statement 518 states that “[r]esilience refers to the capability to mitigate against significant all-hazards risks and incidents and to expeditiously recover and reconstitute critical services with minimum damage to public safety and health, the economy, and national security.” The SPEED committee believes that the engineering resilience memorialized by the ASCE Policy Statement 518 should be contextualized by an epistemologically diverse field of different types of resilience, including ecological resilience and community resilience. To this end, it is critical that engineers not only engage the elasticity for single-equilibrium recovery associated with engineering resilience, but they also must understand and utilize a wide range of metrics associated with multiple potential future states associated with community and ecological resilience. In synthesizing engineering, ecological and community resilience, there is an opportunity to productively engage engineered systems and social systems with the adaptive capacity to accommodate a wide range of costs, benefits, and adaptive outcomes.To date, metrics associated with standardized civil engineering procedures and guidelines often relate to physical properties of the materials used and the function of the finished built environment componenet. For example, engineers evaluate bridges in terms of the number and width of lanes (i.e., capacity) and the loads that they can carry. Similarly, they evaluate buildings in terms of compliance with applicable building codes, fire ratings, and zoning regulations. Although these metrics may be obvious to engineers, it is difficult for taxpayers or developers to understand the linkage to life, safety, health, and general welfare outcomes, particularly at the scale of a community. This failure to create linkages undermines a popular awareness of the important role that infrastructure plays in our daily lives.It is not enough for engineers to provide a design that functions; they also must contribute to sustainable development as stewards of the natural environment (Levitt 2007) while also giving consideration to the distributional equity and procedural justice considerations of the communities that they serve and support (Doorn et al. 2019). To manage professional liability adequately, civil engineers will need to incorporate a variety of metrics and data, including those from social and natural sciences, and to understand fully the spectrum of considerations defining risk and minimally competent practices (ASCE 2007). This provides the impetus for the present work, which introduces new socioeconomic metrics that often are essential to professional practice.The Role of Civil Engineering in Supporting Communities through Infrastructure SystemsCivil infrastructure projects are the network of human-made systems that function together to provide essential goods and services needed to maintain the functions of communities and societies and the broader environment (Marsh et al. 1997). Shocks and stressors may result in failure or compromise of the services of the interdependent systems that enable everyday life (Davis et al. 2018). These disturbances often disrupt the continuity of services to society (Choi et al. 2019). In particular, severe shocks tend to be uneven in their impact and associated costs—often disportionally impacting the most disadvantaged and vulnerable (Chang 2016; Hamideh and Rongerude 2018; Mitsova et al. 2018; Ye and Aldrich 2020).An example of such an impact is flooding damage in the city of Lumberton, North Carolina, which is a diverse community with median income far below the US average. Lumberton suffered extensive flooding following Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and again following Hurricane Florence in 2018. A recent study showed that population stability (i.e., dislocation of households) is a function not only of flood damage but of race and ethnicity (van de Lindt et al. 2018, 2020; Sutley et al. 2021). Another example is the impact of the 2019 bushfires on the city of Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia, which relied heavily on the business of travelers from King Highway in Canberra. The extensive bushfires in Australia in 2019 resulted in the closure of King Highway, which heavily disrupted the businesses and lives of the residents of Braidwood (Canberra Times 2019). These examples highlight the increasing need to integrate impacts to persons and vulnerable populations into civil infrastructure projects, which requires convergence in research and practice (Lakhina et al. 2021), and a perspective change that includes accounting for how a project supports broader community outcomes and its ability to deliver multiple benefits (i.e., social, environmental, and economic).The application of measuring broader social and economic outcomes is gaining traction, particularly on large projects that have both positive and negative impacts on communities. In addition, the measurement of the social value of projects often is required, particularly in Europe, for government-funded projects. For example, in the United Kingdom, the Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force in 2013, and requires people who commission public services to think about how they also can secure wider social, economic, and environmental benefits. However, this is not performed routinely on nongovernment projects, and there is not a consistent approach or set of metrics that currently is widely used.In the US, the NIST formulated a six-step process for communities to adopt for setting and achieving resilience goals. In this context, community is defined across sociological and geographic boundaries to include a diverse array of people who have shared values, characteristics, and histories within specific geographic and networked relationships (Blokland 2017), which essentially is a scale at which decision-making is possible. This process (Fig. 1) (NIST 2015) can be translated easily to infrastructure projects striving for resilience. The first step is to form a collaborative team. In infrastructure projects, this should include representatives from the engineering team, the architectural team, individuals with expertise in economics and the social sciences, and relevant stakeholders from the community. The stakeholders engaged in this process must understand and represent the diverse community values, culture, and needs, and may include (1) representatives from the local government, such as community development, public works, and building departments; (2) public and private developers; (3) owners and operators of buildings and infrastructure systems; (4) local business and industry representatives; (5) representatives of community organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and health and educational institutions; and (6) other stakeholders or interested community groups, such as residents of public housing (NIST 2015). The second step is to understand the situation, or get everyone on the same page with the local context. Third, the team should determine goals and objectives for the project, including identifying which socioeconomic metrics should be adopted at each stage of the project. Fourth, a plan for meeting each metric should be established. Fifth and sixth, the plan should be reviewed, approved, and maintained by the entire project team. As discussed in the following sections, not every metric is needed for every project, and after a collaborative, diverse team is formed, other similar metrics also may be developed and incorporated for tailored resilience goals and assessment. In other words, the authors propose the need to include a broader set of metrics that can be tailored based on contextual needs, rather than a standardized global set of metrics. However, the proposed set of metrics can be used as a foundation to determine the list of metrics for each project.Socioeconomic Metrics for Civil Engineering ProjectsIn line with the seven capitals inherent in every functioning community, i.e., built, social, human, cultural, financial, political, and natural (Ritchie and Gill 2011), socioeconomic metrics are presented in Tables 1–6, categorized as measuring (1) health and well-being, (2) community cohesion and inclusivity, (3) social equity, (4) mobility and accessibility, (5) safety, and (6) prosperity, respectively. All six socioeconomic metric categories are critical for civil engineering projects being incorporated into communities in a way that improves resilience, rather than exacerbating socioeconomic vulnerabilities. All six socioeconomic metric categories include subcategories, and interacting metrics appropriately applied in either the infrastructure design phase, in quantifying the project’s role in the community, or in the finished project (Tables 1–6). The initial categories and design interventions were based on and extended from UKGBC (2018). The extension included metric adoption and development by the authors through focus group discussions and input from both literature and industry practices. Citations are provided in Tables 1–6 as appropriate for the adopted metrics. Each table and category is discussed briefly; this section concludes with supporting context for how to use the metrics.Table 1. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: health and well-beingTable 1. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: health and well-beingSubcategoryDesign interventionCommunity metricsProject metricsGreen community spacesProvide appropriate greenspace (including green roofs) and consider untapped opportunities for public realm space. Provide ecological diversity in design. Include tree planting.Percentage area green space per square kilometer; Number of allotments and community gardens per square kilometer; Number of children’s play areas per 1,000 population. Ecological diversity of green space. Percentage reduction in carbon.1 acre per 100 population (this could be less for larger cities—i.e., 1  acre/200  people for cities >500,000; 1  acre/300  people for cities >1  million.Increase in percentage green space in square kilometer of project. Amount of shaded space. Number of trees. Diversity of plants. Strive for net-zero carbon. Ratio of trees to humans.Engage other local groups, businesses, and charities to take an active role in long-term maintenance of public and open spaces.—Number of successful community engagements. Number of volunteer-hours (per area, if applicable).Healthy air qualityProvide facilities to encourage the use of sustainable transport options such as bicycle, electric vehicles, and walking to reduce vehicle emissions in community and, in some cases, to support health and foster community cohesion. Filter indoor air quality through plants and external tree planting.Walkability index; amount of cycle paths per square kilometer; distance to public transportation; number of transportation options; car share schemes; average commute times; traffic congestion (travel time per volume); number of electric buses; universal access to transport.Walking distance to nearest transportation hub. Provide bicycle standard. Provide shower facilities. Car pooling schemes/pool car. Number of electric car parking spaces, Number of car pooling parking spaces.Good physical healthEmploy human-centered design.Focus on desiging for people rather than things (i.e., cars). Amount of sidewalks per square mile. Pedestrianized space percentage. Aspect ratio of buildings; lower height of buildings.—Incorporate leisure and gym facilities into the development.Ratio of number of healthcare facilities per 1,000 in low-income areas to that in high-income areas; ratio of percentage population within 2 mi of grocery store in low-income areas to that in high-income areas; percentage of adult population not participating in leisure-time physical activity (FEMA 2016).Increase in numbers in community metrics. Provide corporate gym membership.Provide thermal comfort, good acoustics and natural daylight and ventilation for the development.—Minimum 500 lux from natural daylight in productive work areas, 300 lux elsewhere; percentage of natural/mechanical ventilation.Set up carpooling groups and bicycle hire schemes.—Increase in number of people carsharing or cycling to work.Avoid the use of harmful building materials.——Rapid recovery postdisruptionDevelop and exercise robust response and recovery plans, including communicating hazard risk and identifying vulnerability hotspots.Percentage population with (homeowner’s, renter’s, flood, and earthquake) insurance; percentage of households living with at least one of four severe housing problem defined by HUD (FEMA 2016); existence of a grass-roots organization for pre- and postevent response and planning in each neighborhood in the city; clear identification for pre- and postevent coordination that is supported by training and memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with government actors (UNISDR 2014); percentage of population at risk of permanent displacement from most severe and most probable events (UNISDR 2014); percentage of population at risk of temporary displacement from most severe and most probable event and for how long (UNISDR 2014).Percentage improvement in community metrics; percentage of local population trained in emergency response and recovery; number of people per 1,000 population with “go” bags; number of people per 1,000 population with emergency supplies; number of people per 1,000 population with family emergency plan; existence of emergency response and recovery plan for new development; percentage participation of community in response and recovery plan developed as part of project.Table 2. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: community cohesion and inclusivityTable 2. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: community cohesion and inclusivitySubcategoryDesign interventionCommunity metricProject metricStrong local ownership of project/development/local risksCommunicate local risks and what the development is being designed to achieve.Adult education and training programs per 1,000 population (US Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System Program 2007).Initiatives to support and encourage community led development (their cost/benefit, completion rate, percentage participation in project (pre- and postcompletion).Consider opportunities for community-led development.Percentage of community led versus federal/national/top-down projects.Encourage and facilitate local community engagement throughout project.Percentage of local community employment in the project workforce.Align development with community values.—Gather community feedback on the development.Number of consultation meetings in concept/design/construction phases.Thriving social networksProvide high quality community facilities as part of the development—i.e., garden, meeting space, and leisure facilities.Community services (recreational facilities, parks, historic sites, libraries, and museums) per 1,000 population.Project success in improvement of social capital compared to plans. Number of community events (e.g., block parties). Amount of community participation/visitors to communal space.Design area to encourage social interaction between occupiers and local community.Community gardens and allotments.Project success in terms of use of community spaces after completion of the projects.Strong sense of community culture and heritageAvoid demolition of assets with community value. Protect and enhance historic buildings.National historic registry sites per square foot, Number of social advocacy, civic, and community organisations per 1,000 population. Number of entertainment and civic centers per 1,000 population.Increase in community, civic center projects (whether new, refurbishment/upgrade, or maintenance), and reuse and retention of existing buildings and heritage features.Design with sensitivity to local historical context.Consider design features that bring character and local pride to the development.Diverse and integrated communityIncorporate mixed-use into the design.Ratio of percentage college degree to percentage no high school diploma; ratio of percentage minority to percentage nonminority population; percentage of population that is not elderly; ratio of percentage minority to percentage nonminority population; percentage of population that does not speak English as a second language.Number of different occupancy types.Provide a range of housing types to reflect local diversity.Percentage homeownership; ratio of available affordable housing units to households with annual income less than national average; percentage White to percentage non-White homeowners.Maximize social and affordable housing projects percentage social housing.Develop programs that support female labor force participation including child care for working families (e.g., emergency nanny service and sick day care) and equal opportunity programs.Percentage female labor force participation.Increase in percentage of working females when adopting such programs.Design in flexibility of use and adaptability to change.Number of codes or legislations to support resilience in design/construction/operation.Adaptation to climate change, change of use; new technologies.Diverse project teamEnsure expertise on social and economic consequences and impacts are represented on the project team, either through explicit incorporation of team members, or through feedback from community engagement.Gender balance in top management positions within city councils and governing bodies. Diversity measures in C-suites.Diversity measures for top management in projects.Table 3. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: social equityTable 3. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: social equitySubcategoryDesign interventionCommunity metricProject metricFair and just project teamsProvide opportunity for input and questions from all project members.—Team member retention and satisfaction rate measured across demographics and expertise types and levels.Ensure diversity in experience, gender, background, and professional expertise on project team.Age, gender, and expertise distribution in the community.Age, gender, and expertise distribution on project team.Engaged community with diverse representationEncourage and facilitate local community engagement throughout the project with representatives from all sectors and populations within the community.Meeting frequency and attendance of local grassroots organizations.Project decisions and design/archiecture that are representative of local culture and needs.Table 4. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: mobility and accessibilityTable 4. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: mobility and accessibilitySubcategoryDesign interventionCommunity metricProject metricConnected communitiesProvide public transport options to connect communities and increase access to resources.Percentage of population within 5 mi of public transportation; average commute times in areas affected by development.Increase in percentage population within 5 mi of public transportation; reduction in average commute times due to new development; reduction in car use in area of development; modal shift to public transportation in area of development.Provide cycle lanes and footpaths.Percentage population within 5 mi of cycle paths.Increase in percentage population within 5 mi of cycle paths; number of miles of cycle lanes and footpaths provided as part of development; increase in number of people walking or cycling to work in area of development.Design for people not cars.Ratio of roads to paths per square mile.Increase in ratio of roads to paths per square mi in area of development.Provide walkable streets.Percentage population within 1 mi of walking paths; number of people driving for journeys of less than 1 mi in area of development.Increase in percentage of population within 1 mi of walking paths; number of miles of walking paths provides as part of development; number of people utilizing walking paths.Table 5. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: safetyTable 5. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: safetySubcategoryDesign interventionCommunity metricProject metricSafe communitiesEnsure public health and safety.Number of accidents involving the public on construction sides in area.Number of accidents involving the public.Post clear and visible signs to indicate dangerous areas, egress areas.Number of violent crimes per day per 10,000 people.Number of signs per area for the infrastructure project. Number of police call-outs related to development area.Provide adequate outdoor lighting.Number of nonviolent crimes per day per 10,000 people.Measure of illumination throughout project area. Number of police call-outs related to development area.Incorporate secure by design (SBD) and criminal prevention through environmental design (CPTED) security design principles.Number of terrorist incidents per year.Ensure cameras and monitoring for project area including entrances. Compliance with SBD/CPTED.Table 6. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: prosperityTable 6. Socioeconomic metrics for projects: prosperitySubcategoryDesign interventionCommunity metricProject metricThriving local businessesInclude local business retention as a required outcome.Ratio of large to small businesses.Business retention rate accounting for various parameters including large versus small businesses and local (independent) versus franchises throughout the project duration.Provide affordable workspaces for existing and local businesses.——Job opportunities for local peopleRequire that job opportunities be advertised locally and be filled with local qualified applicants.Three-year average unemployment rate; Creative class percentage of workforce employed in professional occupations (Cumming et al. 2005).Percentage increase of local workforce employed, based on age, education level, experience (e.g., prior training, internship, or work experience).Provide a range of traineeships at difference levels and across difference fields.Percentage of working-age population that is employed.Provide work experience for local schools, especially in STEM subjects.—Develop program that involves engagement of local schools (by visits, outreach, internships, and so forth) in business and professional organizations locally.Organize site visits for local schools during construction.—Engage with local businesses to identify how their services could be incorporated into the development process.—Identify work packages that can be delivered by local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).—Percentage of local SMEs employed on project.Increase productivityReduce commute times by incorporating alternate transport links.Percentage of population within 5 miles of cycle paths; percentage of population within 1 mi of care share schemes; percentage of population within 5 mi of public transportation; percentage of population with commute shorter than 30 min.Increase percentage of population that considers alternate transportation links (public transportation, cost share rides, and cycling).Economic diversityEncourage mixed use developments.Number of shared working business hubs.Percentage of businesses adopting shared working hubs.Create an exciting space for incubating startups and new businesses.Percentage of population not employed in primary industries.—Metrics supporting health and well-being are presented in Table 1, and include coverage of green community space, healthy air quality, good physical health, and rapid recovery postdisruption, thus capturing both normal and crisis periods. Specific focus is given to quantification of health and well-being associated with the broader range of project stakeholders, including infrastructure users, employees, customers, and the surrounding community or indigenous communities.Community cohesion and inclusivity metrics are presented in Table 2, and include metrics for quantifying strong local ownership of the project/development/local risks, thriving social networks, strong sense of community culture and heritage, diverse and integrated community, and diverse project team. As in Table 1, emphasis is put on the broader range of project stakeholders, by emphasizing how the project supports the larger community’s goals of cohesion and inclusivity, as well as on the project users. Furthermore, there is an emphasis on how the broader socioeconomic metrics can be instigteed through diversity in teams that are involved in projects.Two subcategories for social equity are presented in Table 3: fair and just approach; and engaged community with diverse representation in project teams and decision makers, such as designers and planners. Cohesion and inclusivity focus on making spaces available that can strengthen the fabric of the community, whereas social equity focuses on measuring whether those spaces are accessed and are meeting the disparate needs of stakholders, and how access to the decision-making process within project teams can facilitate this process.Table 4 presents metrics for mobility and accessibility that specifically gauge community connectivity through access to different transportation options, including physical distance and transportation options for access of communities to a range of services. Table 5 presents metrics for safety that promote safe communities through metrics specific to projects, as well as across communities at large. Lastly, Table 6 shifts to economics to present metrics for prosperity, including four subcategories of thriving local businesses, job opportunities for local people, increasing productivity, and economic diversity. These metrics aim to capture the economic prosperity that is achieved by the project directly and through future growth stimulated by the project’s location.What often has been excluded from the set of metrics used as proxies to evaluate public and private infrastructure are explicit factors that address those needs and preferences tied directly to life, safety, health, and well-being of the public. Such factors are accounted for by social and economic metrics. Metrics used within a resilience assessment for a community or project often are proxies of different dimensions of resilience (Burton 2015), which are developed as quantitative in nature, but qualitative assessments and inputs can enter into the decision-making process by providing additional information upon which to judge and weigh a dashboard of metrics (Linkov et al. 2013). Each metric may have a different level of importance depending on the community and context of the problem. To ensure that a variety of metrics are used, it is important that a diverse array of stakeholders is involved, as discussed previously, and that the project team devises a selection procedure that allows tailoring of metrics to specific projects and locales (Curt and Tacnet 2018). In developing the procedure, it is critical to understand, and most importantly for all parties to agree, that ‘one-size does not fit all.’ Therefore, metrics will vary depending on exposure, vulnerability and local conditions. After candidate metrics have been identified, the final selection and incorporation into project phases should be performed by selecting and giving weight to the final set of metrics so as to integrate them into the technical design.Engineering, ecological, and community resilience should be considered at each project phase, with unique implications for the stakeholders, including the community. Therefore, there needs to be an understanding of the level of resilience that is designed into the system in order to address a wide spectrum of community and projects goals and trade-offs. Furthermore, the expected levels of disruption and plans for response and recovery following the inevitable future shocks and stressors must be understood and integrated.Measuring BenefitsMeasures and metrics will be determined prior to commencement of the project. These can be used to compare the wider potential benefits of design options during the project; a hypothetical example of such scoring is presented in Table 7. Each metric can be scored on a Likert scale of 1–5 in terms of how well it would be achieved through that option. Subcategories and metrics within subcategories can be weighted and summed to provide a total for each category. Some of the activities associated with the categories will be implemented at different stages of the project. All the categories should start with a benchmark at the feasibility and planning stages of the project, and then should be measured constantly after the completion of the project to provide a quantified framework for the actual benefit delivered. These categories need clear definition of the context and type of the project to provide a formalized process of clarifying the meaning of Likert scales 1–5 among the project participants. These scales can be developed by local government or project developers with detailed explanation of the judgements, and can be refined through application within the projects. Furthermore, the use of metrics may result in a range of issues, including the reductionist approach to complex dynamics (Naderpajouh et al. 2016), paralysis by analysis (Langley 1995), misuse of metrics (Muller 2018; Saltelli 2019), or shortcomings in reflecting the transformative nature of resilience (Copeland et al. 2020). Therefore, there is a need to complement the use of metrics with rich local contextual data from the range of stakeholders.Table 7. Hypothetical scoring of options to compare socioeconomic benefitsTable 7. Hypothetical scoring of options to compare socioeconomic benefitsOptionHealth and well-beingCohesive communities and inclusivitySocial equityDiversityMobility and accessibilitySafetyProsperityTotalA532354224B221233114C412245119Illustrative ExamplesSome real-world case studies are presented in this section to illustrate the outcome of accounting for key socioeconomic considerations in infrastructure project planning and design and the co-benefits that can be delivered. These case studies discuss how real-world projects previously have adopted socioeconomic considerations; a selection of metrics proposed in Tables 1–6 was added to the examples for illustrative purposes.Case Study 1: The Big U—New York’s Response to Hurricane SandyThis is a good example of providing an integrated solution with multiple benefits that include health and well-being, community cohesion, protection, and environmental outcomes. Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York in 2012, was one of the largest recorded Atlantic hurricanes at the time it hit, and caused damage of about US$74.8 billion in the US alone (NOAA 2021). Hundreds of people were killed and hundreds of thousands were made homeless along the storm’s path through the Caribbean, the US, and Canada. Although 24 US states were affected, it was the inundation of Lower Manhattan that generated the largest shock waves. The death, destruction, and general havoc wreaked by Sandy laid bare the inadequacies of current approaches to coastal flood risk management—generating a storm of public outrage.The low-lying topography of Lower Manhattan from West 57th Street down to The Battery and up to East 42nd Street is home to approximately 220,000 residents and is the core of a US$500 billion business sector that influences the world’s economy. Hurricane Sandy devastated not only the Financial District but also the lives of 95,000 low-income, older, and disabled city residents. Infrastructure within the 10-mi perimeter was damaged or destroyed, transportation and communication were cut off, and thousands were without power or running water (Rebuild by Design 2014).The lesson from Sandy and New York’s response is that although there are good reasons why large population centers have developed adjacent to and just a few feet above sea level, living there involves flood risk; a risk that cannot be eliminated, but can, and must, be reduced to a level that is acceptable, or at least tolerable. To understand the limits of acceptable and tolerable, setting community goals established on engagement across all community sectors and walks of life is critical.In collaboration with New York City, The BIG U proposal was developed to protect Lower Manhattan from floodwater, storms, and other impacts of a changing climate (Fig. 2). The BIG U calls for a protective system around the low-lying topography of Manhattan beginning at West 57th Street, going down to The Battery, and then back up to East 42nd Street.The proposed project provides 10 continuous miles of protection tailored to respond to individual neighborhood typology as well as community-desired amenities. The proposal breaks the area into compartments: East River Park, Two Bridges and Chinatown, and Brooklyn Bridge to The Battery. Each compartment comprises a physically separate flood-protection zone, isolated from flooding in the other zones, but each equally is a field for integrated social and community planning—enhancing community engagement and cohesion. The compartments work in concert to protect and enhance the city, but each compartment’s proposal is designed to stand on its own. Designs included paths and cycleways, children’s play areas, and recreation space.The original proposal articulated these benefits in the narrative; however, the business case could have been strengthened by utilizing the range of socioeconomic metrics included in this paper; for example, percentage of green space per square mile of the area, number of allotments and community gardens per square mile, number of children’s play areas per 1,000 population, ecological diversity of green space, percentage reduction of carbon, number of trees planted, and percentage of community participation.Case Study 2: City of Trees, City Re-Leaf Project, Manchester, UK (Courtesy of Arup)This project goes a step further than applying metrics, because it provides an example of quantifying the benefits of social and natural value in economic terms, for which the reference sources are provided in the tables. This project illustrates the social, economic and environmental benefits gained through the design of green infrastructure.The scope for creating large green spaces in city centers is limited; however, trees offer the opportunity to breathe life into grey streets, turning them into vibrant, liveable spaces and places. Trees help to combat climate change, improve health and well-being, reduce surface water runoff, and remove pollution from the air. City of Trees identified over 1,000 locations across Manchester and Salford city centers in the United Kingdom (UK) where high-impact street trees could be planted (Fig. 3). The first trees were planted in 2019, and City of Trees plans to work with a range of partners to releaf the city center over the next 10 years. This ambitious program will, over time, transform the urban environment for the benefit of local business, people, and the environment.Arup carried out a Total Value assessment of the benefits that City Re-Leaf (Arup 2019) will deliver for a range of stakeholders and beneficiaries in Manchester. Total Value (Arup 2018) is an integrated approach using a combination of social value and natural capital methods to quantify and monetize the potential return on investment of City Re-Leaf. This differentiates the assessment from other discipline-bound studies that focus on one kind of value stream in isolation.The assessment assumds that 100 trees will be planted each year for 10 years. The benefits were assessed prospectively over a 50-year period from first planting, including land value, health and well-being, productivity, local spending, crime levels, carbon, air quality, heat, and water. The study helps to make the wider business case, or the Total Value case, for City Re-Leaf, showing the broad range of benefits that can be achieved and captured through urban greening initiatives.The findings of the Total Value study are presented in Table 8. Over a 50-year period, the return on investment to local business, people, and the environment will be in the region of £229 for every £1 spent on City Re-Leaf (in 2019 UK pounds) or US$315.Table 8. City Re-Leaf social return on investment (2019 UK pounds)Table 8. City Re-Leaf social return on investment (2019 UK pounds)OutcomesRatioTotal valueCommercial land value1∷322.5 millionResidential land value1∷0.362.5 millionWell-being of residents1∷1501 billionProductivity of workers1∷69482.3 millionLocal spending1∷642.2 millionCrime levels1∷0.0199.4 thousandCarbon storage1∷0.0152.9 thousandAir quality (NOx, SOx, and PM)a1∷0.412.9 millionClimate resilience (surface water management and urban cooling)1∶0.080.6 billionTotal1∶2291.6 billionValuation methods were based on land value, well-being, productivity, local spending, reduced crime levels, carbon, air quality, and water management. Land value was based on the average commercial and residential rent prices in Manchester city center, assuming that land value increases by 5% when streets are tree-lined (Wolf 2007). Well-being was based on the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) Mental Well-Being method—improved mental well-being was shown to increase revenue by 26% (Arup 2017). Productivity was measured based on the gross value added (GVA) income per person in Manchester city center, and it was assumed that the productivity of desk workers increases by 1% when they have a view of nature (Kaplan 1993). Local spending was based on the average spend per visitor in Manchester city center, and it was assumed that consumers are willing to pay 9%–12% more for goods and services in areas with street trees (Wolf 2005). Crime levels were based on Manchester crime statistics, and it was assumed that crime levels decrease by 12% for every 10% increase in tree cover (Troy et al. 2012). Carbon reduction was based on the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) traded carbon value for 2019. Air quality was based on the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 2015 damage costs (transport), and each street tree was assumed to contribute to an average heating/cooling cost saving of US$32 (NYC Parks 2015).Case Study 3: Living Melbourne—Metropolitan Urban Forest ProjectThis project demonstrates the use of socioeconomic metrics that include outdoor activity, sense of well-being, property values, and community connection and social capital. Melbourne is a rapidly growing city, currently with a population of 5 million, which is projected to grow to over 8 million by 2051 (TNC and Resilient Melbourne 2019a). The major shocks and stressors for the city of Melbourne and its civil infrastructure include rapid population growth, increasing social inequality, increasing pressure on natural assets, climate change, heatwaves, wildfires, floods, and extremist acts including cyber-crime (Resilient Melbourne 2016). Among the programs that have been discussed, planned, or executed to address these challenges, the metropolitan urban forest effort called Living Melbourne is a flagship program (TNC and Resilient Melbourne 2019a). This program focuses the efforts and projects on building resilience within the city (Kendal and Baumann 2016), to provide resilience to shocks, such as heatwave and flood, and stressors, such as decreasing social equity, development pressure on ecosystem services and healthcare services, higher rates of chronic illness, and climate change (TNC and Resilient Melbourne 2019a).However, the metrics used in this project are broader than merely technical engineering and cover a range of metrics that were synthesized in the present research (Tables 1–6) at the nexus of ecological, social, and engineering systems. In the case of Melbourne, these metrics are based on six strategic targets to improve (1) canopy cover, (2) urban forest diversity, (3) vegetation health, (4) soil moisture and water quality, (5) urban ecology, and (6) process of informing and consulting the community (TNC and Resilient Melbourne 2019b). For these objectives, a range of metrics were consideredm such as taxa, abundance, and health of the urban forest for ecological diversity (Kendal and Baumann 2016); canopy cover, connectivity, and landscape permeability for animals such as birds (TNC and Resilient Melbourne 2019a); and climate amelioration, carbon storage and sequestration, and air quality improvements (TNC and Resilient Melbourne 2019b). For other metrics such as biodiversity, standard categorizations such as ecological vegetation classes (EVCs) were considered, with the focus on native vegetation as well as threatened species (TNC and Resilient Melbourne 2019a). More importantly, the socioeconomic metrics that were considered included outdoor activity, sense of well-being, property values and community connection and social capital (TNC and Resilient Melbourne 2019b). These metrics included a range of quantitative measures such as park acres per 1,000 people and number of neighborhoods involved in urban forestry efforts, as well as qualitative measures such as quality of civic engagement (TNC and Resilient Melbourne 2019b) and others that aim to promote input of residents in planning for outdoor spaces (Shooshtarian et al. 2018).The use of metrics as a proxy of the real-world dynamics often faces challenges, such as reduction of the complex dynamics, paralysis by analysis, or abuse of metrics (Langley 1995; Muller 2018; Naderpajouh et al. 2016; Saltelli 2019). For example, Kendal et al. (2012) indicated that drivers of the urban forest cover and diversity can differ based on the urban context, and there is a need for comparative studies to establish the impact of factors such as socioeconomic factors. Therefore, there is a need to quantify stakeholder coordination and public engagement to govern urban forest projects effectively (Ordóñez et al. 2020).ConclusionsIt is well-known that social dynamics impact the output of civil engineering projects to a large extent, despite the comprehensiveness of technical and engineering design. The inclusion of socioeconomic factors that significantly impact the communities hosting civil engineering projects is critical to ensure engineering, ecological, and community resilience performance in addressing the shocks and stressors of natural hazards, climate change, and global change. This can be accounted for by incorporating diverse socioeconomic metrics, such as those identified and catalogued in this paper. It is imperative that use of metrics is coupled with inclusion of disiplinary expertise and local context expertise, so that metrics are not applied in a way that has harmful or otherwise unintended consequences. Communities should choose appropriate metrics based on their needs and given the context of the challenges they face. In this sense, there is a need for qualitative and narrative support to the development and use of metrics, as well as an understanding of the assumptions and biases that come with any given metric. The inclusion of natural and social scientists as part of the design team may be required to meet these new project requirements so that the totality of the challenges can be recognized and successfully accommodated or accounted for in the civil engineering planning, design, and management processes.There are major challenges to addressing the systemic impacts to society and specific populations that result from disruptions to civil infrastructure systems and associated services. For example, governments and private investors have finite budgets for long-term infrastructure investments, ongoing service provision (Vugrin et al. 2014), and resilience planning (Keenan 2018). Within an ever more competitive environment, maximizing the impact of capital and operating expenditures to ensure stability and reliability in the short- and long-term presents a complex design and management challenge (Ouyang 2017). A comprehensive approach to engineering, ecological, and community resilience can help prioritize how funds best should be invested to provide both optimal investment performance and the most robust set of performance outcomes (Field et al. 2017). This requires preciseness in engineering economics when specifying the specific system boundary, performance outputs, time horizons, and investment beneficiaries; in essence, not attempting to monetize everything within a resilience problem, but rather presenting multifaceted alternatives to decision-makers (Cutter 2016).A comprehensive list of socioeconomic metrics is provided based on the identification of a broad range of issues, and were discussed within the context of real word examples. These examples represent a first step toward demonstrating how socioeconomic considerations can be integrated into project decision-making and planning. Future potential steps include richer case studies that need to be studied with sufficient detail and through comparative analysis. In this stream, the next steps for the SPEED committee include the development of a detailed project with quantification of several key socioeconomic resilience metrics to demonstrate how these metrics can, would, or should be integrated into a large civil infrastructure project. That case study will include the planning, design, and operation phases of a large public project. 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