As Donald Trump likes to say, “China is beating us on everything.” While that’s a debatable proposition, there is one area where China is far ahead of the United States, and that is in resilient transportation systems.
This is a big deal. Transportation systems represent a huge portion of public and private spending — to the tune of $1.2 trillion to $1.4 trillion globally each year. And, in an era rocked by climate change and other disruptions, those systems must be able to weather all kinds of shocks — from fuel shortages to flooding. They must be, in a word, resilient.
What does a resilient transportation system look like? First, it offers a diverse range of choices: If the train isn’t running, there are easily available alternatives, such as biking or taking a bus. Resilient transportation can be fueled by multiple energy sources, for the same reason: If oil prices spike, the system can run on ele