Extreme weather: Investing in better infrastructure is ‘highly profitable’

With the proliferation of extreme weather events, are our infrastructures robust enough and well-designed to withstand extreme weather?

TVA Nouvelles asked an expert.

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“The network is sure to be designed [la base de] Historical data. […] As this data changes, we will have to adapt,” said Yannick Hemond, professor of climate in the Department of Geography at UQÀM.

He believes we should “plan for the worst and do it twice.”

“What we need to rethink is our entire built environment […] Big pavement parking lots are no more in our time,” he says.

Gravel, for example, could be an interesting alternative to bitumen, Mr. Hemond says.

“The land is going to absorb more water and there will be less runoff”, a significant problem in cities where our “sewer network is not designed to handle so much water in such a short amount of time”.

Our expert confirms that there are alternatives.

“The question is not whether it exists or not, but that we need to rethink the way we do things. For example, going to the lowest bidder is no longer tenable.”

As the climate changes, “we have to invest the necessary money there, because yes, unfortunately it costs more” to avoid some continuous interventions.

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According to the expert, investing in better, sustainable infrastructure is “very profitable”.

“The World Economic Forum has very conservative figures, and we know that a dollar invested in prevention will return $7 when it comes time to intervene or avoid certain interventions,” he explains.

“Sometimes we miss an event so we don’t know we’ve recovered [notre argent]”, he notes.

As for the already built environment, Professor Hemond recommends preserving it rather than modifying it.

Watch the full interview in the video above.

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