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Released in the scientific journal Climatic Change. Organisational uptake of scientific knowledge and adaptation of infrastructure

Future development and renewal of transport infrastructures have to take into account how the effects of climate change will affect these complex sociotechnical systems.

This article aims at understanding how to raise this issue to ensure an efficient and systemic uptake of climate change by infrastructure managers. It reports the results of an in-depth case study conducted on the French railway company. This study identifies several proactive adaptation dynamics: one is top-down and stems from climate change impacts; others are more bottom-up and focused on vulnerabilities. However, both types of approaches have, so far, yielded limited results. Building on the existing literature, this paper reveals critical bottlenecks to overcome in order to get the organization ready to adapt. It suggests key components of an enabling framework for a more proactive preparation to climate change and mainstreaming climate adaptation into major organizational decisions, working on:

  • A consistent institutional framework
  • A strengthened engagement with climate science
  • Adaptation of processes, tools and procedures to deal with uncertain dynamic phenomenon

article adaptation railway system

To quote this publication : Dépoues, V. (2017). Organisational uptake of scientific information about climate change by infrastructure managers: the case of adaptation of the French railway company. Climatic Change.More on this research project



Project Manager - Adaptation to Climate Change

Vivian’s work focuses on the approaches of local actors to proactively adapt to climate changes and increase their resilience. He works with local authorities, utilities and public financial institutions.

Vivian holds a PhD from the University of Paris-Saclay, a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of Pierre and Marie Curie and a master’s degree in environmental policy from SciencesPo Paris. He conducted his PhD in partnership with ADEME, I4CE, SNCF and SNCF Réseau working on the adaptation of the French rail system and analyzing how large organizations deal with scientific knowledge on global changes and transform themselves to adapt to changes in the climate. He also teaches at SciencesPo.