Italy Italy Italy Italy

Transport, Infrastructure and Building Italy

Vulnerabilities - Italy


Main effects of climate change on transport system may include the following (1):

  • changes in stability and resistance of the transport system and infrastructures, as well as in the choice of transport modality directly dependent on temperature rise that thus indirectly affects the overall quality of transport;
  • possible inaccessibility or disruption of the transport network due to SLR and more frequent and intense precipitation, mainly in relation to floods;
  • indirect negative effects of changing precipitation patterns on air transport timeliness as well as fuel supply;
  • maritime and riverine navigation paths and conditions affected by ice melting.


Climate change could become a threat to the built environment that is likely to experience a number of negative impacts, such as (2):

  • extreme events occurrence (floods, storms and to a lesser extent heat waves and droughts) as well as average temperature changes (e.g. melting of permafrost in some Alpine areas), affecting soil stability, put pressure on urban and rural infrastructures, with possible disruption of settlements, trade and society, and loss of properties;
  • sea level rise and reduced precipitations are likely to affect the urban water supply systems, especially in coastal areas.

Besides, the changing climate has the potential regionally to increase premature deterioration and weathering impacts on the built environment, exacerbating vulnerabilities to climate extremes and disasters and negatively impacting the expected and useful life spans of structures (3).  


Small increases in climate extremes above thresholds or regional infrastructure ‘tipping points’ have the potential to result in large increases in damages to all forms of existing infrastructure nationally and to increase disaster risks (4). Since infrastructure systems, such as buildings, water supply, flood control, and transportation networks often function as a whole or not at all, an extreme event that exceeds an infrastructure design or ‘tipping point’ can sometimes result in widespread failure and a potential disaster (5).

Adaptation strategies

Climate change will require changes in building codes and standards where they exist (6).


The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Italy.

  1. Caserini and Pignatelli (2009), in: Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea of Italy (2009)
  2. Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea of Italy (2009)
  3. Auld (2008b); Larsen et al. (2008); Stewart et al. (2011), all in: IPCC (2012)
  4. Coleman (2002); Munich Re (2005); Auld (2008b); Larsen et al. (2008); Kwadijk et al. (2010); Mastrandrea et al. (2010), all in: IPCC (2012)
  5. Ruth and Coelho (2007); Haasnoot et al. (2009), both in: IPCC (2012)
  6. Bourrelier et al. (2000); Füssel (2007); Wilby (2007); Auld (2008b); Stevens (2008); Hallegatte (2009), all in: IPCC (2012)