Chur is the capital of the Canton of Grisons, in South-East Switzerland. The area’s stunning landscape, marked by Rhine — one of Europe’s major rivers — and the surrounding Alpine peaks, adds a layer of challenge to this case study, regarding exposure to climate-related hazards.

Situated in a valley along the Southern bank of the Rhine, the city’s infrastructure and its nearly 35,000 inhabitants are exposed to fluvial flooding, triggered by rainfall and also by snowmelt—an escalating threat due to warming trends.

In addition to surface flooding, increasing groundwater flows pose a risk to the precarious stability of the region’s steep mountain slopes, often leading to debris flows or rockslides that can affect communities and infrastructure located downstream. In a notable recent event in 2017, a massive amount of mud and rocks (estimated at 4 million cubic meters) impacted houses, roads, and bridges, in the southern part of the Canton, leading to 8 fatalities and the evacuation of almost 100 people in the village of Bondo.

Failure of transport infrastructure in Chur can have ripple effects on the Swiss economy and disrupt mobility on a broader regional scale. The area is a prominent tourist destination and a significant hub for finance, engineering, and chemistry sectors. Furthermore, its road network provides key links in major transportation routes, connecting Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, facilitating the crossing of the Alps and the transportation of people and goods from Southern to Central and Northern Europe.

Our project partners from the Chair of Infrastructure Management of ETH Zurich have extensive experience studying Chur’s transport network to assess climate risks and propose optimized intervention strategies. Chur has been the testing ground for implementing methodologies and tools developed within several European and Swiss research projects, resulting in a substantial number of relevant publications (listed below).

ReCharged aims to advance the existing research focus on Chur by examining the complex interdependencies between the region’s transportation networks, including road and rail systems, and the operation of energy infrastructure within the context of iTESLA. Chur will serve as a demonstration site for the project’s final product: a practical visualization platform designed to enhance understanding of climate risks and support decision-making to enhance the resilience of transportation and energy systems.


  • Lam, J. C., Hackl, J., Heitzler, M., Adey, B. T., and Hurni, L. (2020). Impact Assessment of Extreme Hydrometeorological Hazard Events on Road Networks, Journal of Infrastructure Systems 26(2), 04020005.
  • Hackl, J., and Adey, B. T. (2019). Modelling multi-layer spatially embedded random networks. Journal of Complex Networks, 7(2), 254–280.
  • Hackl, J., and Adey, B. T. (2019) Estimation of traffic flow changes using networks in networks approaches. Applied Network Science, 4(1), 28.
  • Hackl, J., Lam, J. C., Heitzler, M., Adey, B. T., and Hurni, L. (2018). Estimating network related risks: A methodology and an application in the transport sector. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 18(8), 2273–2293.
  • Hackl, J., Adey, B. T., and Lethanh, N. (2018). Determination of Near-Optimal Restoration Programs for Transportation Networks Following Natural Hazard Events Using Simulated Annealing. Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, 33(8), 618–637.
  • Lam, J.C., Adey, B.T., Heitzler, M., Hackl, J., Gehl, P., van Erp, N., D’Ayala, D., van Gelder, P., Hurni, L., (2018), Stress tests for a road network using fragility functions and functional capacity loss functions, Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 173, 78-93.