Benoît Robert, Gabriel Yan: Tools for Managing Interdependencies among Critical Infrastructures in Planning Major or Large-Scale Events. Centre risque & performance, École Polytechnique de Montréal, 20-10-2011
On June 26 and 27, 2010, the city of Toronto, Canada, hosted the fourth G20 Summit. Nine days after the summit, on July 6, 2010, a major electric outage blacked out downtown Toronto for more than three hours. According to the spokespersons for the power companies such an outage could occur at any time, even though maintenance operations are carried out regularly. In other words, the blackout could have happened during the G20 Summit.
In that kind of situation, what would the consequences of the outage have been for the infrastructures and equipment that are needed for the event and that use electricity? Would there have been problems in the zone contained within the security perimeter and the surrounding area?
These questions illustrate the kinds of problems addressed by the Centre risque & performance (CRP) at the École Polytechnique de Montréal. The first question concerns the dependency on essential resources and services (ERS) of the organizations involved in an event, whereas the second relates to geographic interdependencies in the context of a major event.
Over the last few years, the CRP has developed modeling tools to evaluate interdependencies among the critical systems for the cities of Québec and Montréal (Canada). In 2009, the CRP obtained a mandate from Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) to develop some simple tools that would make it possible to anticipate problems related to geographic interdependencies and dependency on ERS in planning major and large-scale events.
This project was initiated in connection with the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits in Toronto, Canada. Validation meetings then took place. Forty representatives of 25 organizations that had participated in major events took part in these meetings. Their comments led to the production of the final tools and the creation of a website dedicated to making the tools widely available and creating a community of practice.
The tools make it possible to support event organizers in collecting data and analyzing potential problems related to interdependencies. They also help to reduce their vulnerability related to the use of ERS, ensure better management of the territory from the point of view of geographic interdependencies, and promote communication among stakeholders. These tools are available at: http://www.polymtl.ca/crp/en/MajorLargeScaleEvents/MajorLargeScaleEvents.php