Rebuilding for resilience — lessons from Puerto Rico and beyond

Over the course of just a few hours, Hurricane Maria exposed how fragile Puerto Rico is. Years of underinvestment in infrastructure and the recent financial crisis let the island languish, making the devastation far worse than it would have been otherwise. The storm caused the island’s entire electric grid to fail, its network of roads and highways to be disrupted, and access to clean drinking water lost. With no shortage of ideas on how to rebuild using better, stronger and cleaner technologies, who decides what gets built? How will it all be financed? And why is it taking so long? Leaders from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) Transformation Advisory Council and the head of engineering at New York's major utility Con Edison (involved in the recovery of Hurricane Sandy as well as Puerto Rico's recovery) discuss their plans for a future-proofed power system and lessons learned from Puerto Rico so far.