Infrastructure and Transportation

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RAND research addresses the challenges of developing, managing, and protecting energy, transportation, water, communications, and other critical infrastructure throughout the world.

  • Flooding in Pittsburgh,  photo by Artem S/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Green Infrastructure Can Help Manage Rainfall in an Urban Watershed

    Oct 29, 2020

    Urbanization, inadequate investment in aging infrastructure, and more-frequent heavy rainfall events due to climate change have led to sewer overflows, flooding, and reduced water quality in U.S. cities. The challenges of increasing volumes of stormwater can be addressed by a mix of solutions.

  • A traffic jam on the 5 freeway heading south in Orange County, California, photo by MCCAIG/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Navigating Speed Bumps to a Possible Federal Vehicle Miles Traveled Fee

    Mar 26, 2021

    It's been clear for years that the gas tax has been losing its ability to pay for America's existing roads and bridges, let alone improvements and new construction. A vehicle miles traveled fee could provide a potential option for a 21st-century transportation funding system.

Explore Infrastructure and Transportation

  • Blog

    Hospitals' Critical Care Capacity, Unemployment Insurance, Farmworkers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how hospitals can increase critical care capacity, reforming the U.S. unemployment system, supporting farmworkers, and more.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Future Quantum Computers May Pose Threat to Today's Most-Secure Communications

    Quantum computers that are exponentially faster than any of our current classical computers and are capable of code-breaking applications could be available in 12 to 15 years, posing major risks to the security of current communications systems.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Graphic depicting quantum computing, design by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Article

    Quantum Computers Will Break the Internet, but Only If We Let Them

    Quantum computers are expected to be powerful enough to break the current cryptography that protects all digital communications. But this scenario is preventable if policymakers take actions now to minimize the harm that quantum computers may cause.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Woman working at home at a computer, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Commentary

    It Is More Important Than Ever for Employers to Look After Staff Health and Wellbeing

    COVID-19 will likely have a direct effect on the health and wellbeing of employees. While many employers responding to the COVID-19 crisis have understandably been concerned with business resilience, processes, and performance, it is important that they also continue to focus on the health and wellbeing of staff.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Green glowing qubits, computer generated abstract background, 3D rendering, photo by sakkmesterke/AdobeStock

    Report

    Securing Communications in the Quantum Computing Age

    Quantum computers are expected to revolutionize computing. But hackers may be able to use them to crack the encryption system that protects all digital communications. How soon could this scenario become a reality? And what can be done to prevent it?

    Apr 9, 2020

  • A sign hangs on a door stating that it does not need to be cleaned, in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2020, photo by Alexander Drago/Reuters

    Commentary

    During Coronavirus Pandemic, Can Congress Members Do Their Jobs by Teleworking?

    The COVID-19 pandemic presents a new challenge to how Congress conducts business. How can the United States leverage existing technologies so lawmakers can continue to work safely and securely?

    Apr 6, 2020

  • Blog

    COVID-19's Effects on Mental Health, Food Access, and Education: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on COVID-19 and mental health, food security challenges during the pandemic, supporting children while schools are closed, and more.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • Agricultural workers clean carrot crops of weeds amid an outbreak of COVID-19 at a farm near Arvin, California, April 3, 2020, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Commentary

    Forgotten on the Frontlines of the Food Supply Chain

    The working and living conditions of farmworkers make practicing social distancing, self-isolation, or quarantine impossible. In the food supply, farmworkers are the first responders who keep the supply chains going. FEMA, the CDC, and state governments should include farmworkers and agricultural communities in their emergency response plans.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • Man at home working on a computer, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Should the Federal Workforce Stay Remote? Planning for After the Crisis

    As physical distancing becomes the new norm, so too does telework. But should federal agencies maintain their remote operations for the long haul? As those of us involved with national security agencies, operations, and workforce issues know, this is not a decision to make lightly.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • Children pick up lunch at the Olympic Hills Elementary School, after schools were closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, in Seattle, Washington, March 17, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    Food Access: Challenges and Solutions Brought on by COVID-19

    For the 14.3 million American households already experiencing food insecurity before the pandemic, shutdowns and restrictions have created new layers of hardship. Tremendous efforts are already underway to help. But the weeks to come will surely demand more creative solutions from the public and private sectors.

    Mar 31, 2020

  • Cyber warfare specialists engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Maryland, June 3, 2017, photo by J.M. Eddins Jr./U.S. Air Force

    Report

    The Defense Industrial Base Needs a Cyber Protection Program

    The unclassified networks of defense industrial base firms have become a target for adversaries seeking to steal sensitive data, trade secrets, and intellectual property. How can the U.S. Department of Defense better secure these networks?

    Mar 30, 2020

  • Scientist taking water samples, photo by Smederevac/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Want to Know If a New Drug Crisis Is Growing? Check the Wastewater

    Few people foresaw how quickly fentanyl would displace heroin, doubling or tripling opioid overdose deaths in some pockets of the United States from 2013 to 2017. But we could have been warned—if only we'd checked our wastewater.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Measuring Cybersecurity and Cyber Resiliency

    This report presents a framework for the development of metrics -- and a method for scoring them -- that indicates how well a U.S. Air Force mission or system is expected to perform in a cyber-contested environment.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Blog

    Experts Discuss COVID-19: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on COVID-19, how the United States is responding to the coronavirus outbreak, the spread of misinformation during this time, and more.

    Mar 20, 2020

  • Research Brief

    How the U.S. Coast Guard Can Leverage Social Media and Enhanced Cell Phone Data to Improve Emergency Response

    A growing proportion of maritime distress calls to the U.S. Coast Guard comes indirectly through social media, 911, or cell phones. Better understanding of the social media and cell phone environments could help inform future Department of Homeland Security policy on using these media in response operations.

    Mar 17, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    U.S. Coast Guard Emergency Response and Disaster Operations: Using Social Media for Situational Awareness

    Researchers are helping the U.S. Department of Homeland Security understand whether and how social media might be better leveraged for situational awareness in U.S. Coast Guard response operations.

    Mar 17, 2020

  • Mother on a video call with doctor with sick teenage son, photo by Courtney Hale/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Coronavirus, Telemedicine, and Dustbusters

    Telemedicine has been with us for decades. And yet it hasn't transformed health care in the way that ATMs have transformed banking or cordless vacuums have transformed household cleaning. But the coronavirus pandemic could forever change how telemedicine is used.

    Mar 16, 2020

  • Report

    Small Unmanned Aerial System Adversary Capabilities

    It is difficult to detect, identify, classify, and—consequently—counter nefarious small unmanned aerial systems (sUASs), particularly in urban areas. As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security prepares for this potential threat, it will need to know the types of threat scenarios in which these systems could be used, which design elements are likely to be exploited by a nefarious actor, and which technologies and capabilities may be available in the near future.

    Mar 12, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Guidebook for Multi-Agency Collaboration for Sustainability and Resilience

    This guidebook provides a framework and practical advice for how to establish and sustain multi-agency collaborations that seek to address wide-ranging comprehensive policy objectives.

    Mar 11, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    U.S. Army North in the Hurricane Maria Response

    This report addresses questions from U.S. Army North about the assistance it provided to civilian disaster-response operations in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 1997.

    Mar 10, 2020