Rebecca Jane McConnell

Research activity per year

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Research Focus

Urban infrastructures that serve Belfast are under threat. The sustenance of the city relies on the likes of roads, bridges, railways, undergrounds, airports, power stations, water and wastewater treatment plants, sewage systems and telecommunication networks. Due to global climate change and human activities in recent years, many urban areas around the world are facing enormous challenges from natural and man-made disasters, like floods, earthquakes and terrorist attacks. For this reason, vulnerability and resilience of urban infrastructures to disasters have attracted increased attention from researchers and practitioners. Existing studies solely focus on one particular type of disaster or urban infrastructure, and there is a lack of holistic considerations for the analysis of vulnerability and resilience. This research attempts to bridge the knowledge gap. 

The aspiration of this research is to explore urban infrastructures and disasters in a widespread way through firstly developing an assessment framework for the vulnerability of urban infrastructures to disasters and then cultivate an optimisation model for their resilience. Imperative interactive tools such as GIS can be used for the framework / model development. Case studies will be conducted to examine the vulnerability assessment framework and also the resilience optimisation model proposal. It is hoped that the results of this research can provide decision makers with a valuable guide for the improvement of sustainable performance of urban infrastructure.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • NA Architecture
  • NC Drawing Design Illustration


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