IPSS Overviews

The Infrastructure Planning Support System (IPSS)

The Infrastructure Planning Support System (IPSS) is a software model that integrates expertise from researchers in civil and environmental engineering, water resources, architecture, international development, economics, and more.

IPSS provides decision makers with quantitative information about the impacts of a changing future climate on existing and planned infrastructure. Existing vulnerabilities, specific adaptation options to reduce risk, responsible future design, and cost-benefit analysis are part of the standard IPSS analysis.


IPSS models existing vulnerabilities to future weather, specific adaptation options, and cost-benefit analysis. This is provided by analyzing the variability of future weather as compared to historic data using all available IPCC-approved climate models. Elements of analysis include: changes in temperature (maximum temperatures and freeze-thaw), changes in precipitation (drainage, flooding, and degradation rates), energy demands, and specific inventory data (when available).

Costs are assessed based on two approaches. First, a reactive “no adaptation” approach which analyzes a changing future climate on existing road design standards. This is compared to a proactive “adaptation” approach which reduces future risk and damages by changing design standards at upgrades or re-construction. Rate and costs related to construction and adaptation can be set by a user. Both maintenance and new construction/re-construction costs are provided.

Flexibility and customized analysis can be incorporated for modeling purposes where desired. This can include cost information, degradation rates, historic flood data, and specific adaptation budgets.

Information for is based on a number of sources including engineering research, materials studies, published DOE, DOT and FHWA literature, and more. IPSS has been used for several vulnerability and adaptation studies, including:

  • The World Bank
  • The United States Agency for International Development
  • Asian Development Bank
  • Canada
  • South Africa
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics (UNU-WIDER)
  • Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles in: Climatic Change, Transport Policy, Review of Development Economics, Global Environmental Change, Engineering Project Organization Journal, Journal of Infrastructure Systems, and more.

Automated Climate Change Impact Analysis on Roads and Buildings

Approach to Infrastructure Analysis: A broader Perspective of Development

Transport and building infrastructure play an important role in both daily life and the development of a nation. For economic and social reasons, the existence, expansion, and maintenance of roads and buildings is a key component to current and future development in developing countries. Road infrastructure provides a network of connectivity that underpins growth, for both rural and urban areas and the inter- and intra-country transportation of goods, services, and persons. Current studies demonstrate the vital role that infrastructure plays in developing markets by building both capacity and efficiency. However, current infrastructure decisions in developing countries emphasize the traditional cost-benefit approach. The IPSS system introduces the need for a broader, holistic perspective in infrastructure decisions: one which considers both longer-term life-cycle analysis including elements such as climate change effects, as well as social benefits that accrue from infrastructure development.

IPSS is designed to support a broader concept of development success from infrastructure development. Specifically, by incorporating a broader set of government and organization concerns that policy makers should be considering for future investment decisions, IPSS is designed to integrate technical decision making with governments broader goals and constraints. By utilizing climate and traffic projections, engineering standards, and basic social and environmental impacts, it displays a holistic, life-cycle impact of a proposed road project up to the year 2100 in economic terms.



For further information or other presentation materials - including information presented at the 2012 Workshops & Trainings in South Africa and Ghana - please email contact@clicslab.org.