Special Issue "Sustainable High Volume Road and Rail Transport in Low Income Countries"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Michael Burrow
Website
Guest Editor
School of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
Interests: road and rail asset management with a focus on developing countries
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Gurmel Ghataora
Website
Guest Editor
School of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
Interests: road and rail geotechnical engineering, use of marginal materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Mr. Bruce Thompson

Guest Editor
Independent Consultant, formerly Head of Infrastructure Policy, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission
Interests: transport infrastructure policy
Dr. Bernard Obika

Guest Editor
Snr Technical Director IMC Worldwide
Interests: road transport in low income countries; institutional reform; pavement & materials; road infrastructure finance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue addresses the sustainable provision of high volume transport in developing countries. It is recognised that transportation is vital for economic and social development.  However to realise these goals, transportation must be safe, affordable, reliable and accessible to all in society. Transportation also needs to be sustainable without incurring excessive greenhouse gas consequences and environmental impacts. This issue of Sustainability explores these ideals in the developing country context. Contributions are invited which address high volume transport infrastructure and its sustainable management, low carbon transport and inclusivity in high volume transport provision. Theoretical, empirical and review studies are welcome from the researchers and practitioners alike.

Dr. Michael Burrow
Dr. Gurmel Ghataora
Mr. Bruce Thompson
Dr. Bernard Obika
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • High volume transport
  • Sustainable long distance strategic road and rail
  • Road and rail transport services
  • Road infrastructure
  • Rail infrastructure
  • Urban transport
  • High volume corridors and networks
  • Low carbon transport
  • Gender, vulnerable groups and inclusion in high volume transport

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Advancing Applied Research in High Volume Transport in Low-Income Countries in Africa and South Asia
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4088; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104088 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Department for International Development (DFID) is funding the High Volume Transport (HVT) Applied Research Programme. This programme is an integral component of the UK response to delivering transport and mobility that is accessible, efficient, safe, and green in the low-income countries (LICs) [...] Read more.
The Department for International Development (DFID) is funding the High Volume Transport (HVT) Applied Research Programme. This programme is an integral component of the UK response to delivering transport and mobility that is accessible, efficient, safe, and green in the low-income countries (LICs) in Africa and South Asia. The first part of the HVT programme produced an up-to-date and comprehensive state of knowledge on high volume transport in these countries. This Special Issue presents a selection of papers to cover key research priorities identified in road and rail transport, low carbon transport, and gender and inclusive transport. The state of knowledge has produced a sound basis for setting priorities for applied research in the second part of the programme. Applied research is directed to delivering high volume transport that contributes to economic growth and social development, and that is more resilient to the impact of climate change in LICs in Africa and South Asia. Full article

Research

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Disability, Mobility and Transport in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Thematic Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020589 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
This paper discusses issues affecting the transport and mobility needs of people with disabilities in middle- and low-income countries and how disability intersects with a range of other factors to impact on transport needs, use and engagement. The paper is intended to stimulate [...] Read more.
This paper discusses issues affecting the transport and mobility needs of people with disabilities in middle- and low-income countries and how disability intersects with a range of other factors to impact on transport needs, use and engagement. The paper is intended to stimulate discussion and identify areas for further research, and identifies a number of key issues that are salient to discussions around equitable and inclusive transport provision, including patterns of transport use, behaviour and experiences, solutions and policy directions, measuring access and inclusion, policies and intersectionality. The paper also identifies gaps in knowledge and provision, barriers to addressing these gaps, and some possible solutions to overcoming these barriers. These include shifting the focus from access to inclusion, reconceptualising how ‘special’ transport might be provided, and most importantly listening to the voices and experiences of adults and children with disabilities. Despite lack of transport often being cited as a reason for lack of inclusion of people with disabilities, there is surprisingly little evidence which either quantifies this or translates what this lack of access means to people with disabilities in their daily lives in low- and middle-income countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Meeting Young People’s Mobility and Transport Needs: Review and Prospect
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6193; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226193 - 06 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper reviews published and grey literature on young people’s daily transport and mobility experiences and potential, with the aim of identifying major research gaps. It draws on literature across a range of disciplines where interest in mobilities has expanded significantly over the [...] Read more.
This paper reviews published and grey literature on young people’s daily transport and mobility experiences and potential, with the aim of identifying major research gaps. It draws on literature across a range of disciplines where interest in mobilities has expanded significantly over the last decade (transport studies; social sciences, notably geography and anthropology; health sciences). We focus particularly on young people from poorer households, since poverty and mobility intersect and interact in complex ways and this needs closer attention. Although youth transport issues are set in their global context, the focus on poverty encourages particular attention to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), especially countries in Africa and Asia. Key themes include education, employment, travel safety and the role of mobile technology. This review demonstrates how young people’s travel experiences, needs and risks are embedded in power relations and vary with gender, age and location. It also points to the scale and range of uncertainties that so many young people now face globally as they negotiate daily mobility (or immobility). Significant research gaps are identified, including the need for more in-depth action research involving young people themselves (especially in Asia), and greater attention to the impact of mobile technologies on travel practices. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Older People, Mobility and Transport in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Review of the Research
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6157; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216157 - 04 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Older populations are rising globally, which in high-income countries has helped to generate a growing literature on the impact of ageing on travel requirements and transport policy. This article aims to provide an initial assessment of the state of knowledge on the impact [...] Read more.
Older populations are rising globally, which in high-income countries has helped to generate a growing literature on the impact of ageing on travel requirements and transport policy. This article aims to provide an initial assessment of the state of knowledge on the impact on transportation policy and usage of the increasing numbers of older people in low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs), through a review of the literature relating to older people and transportation. As both the academic and policy/practice-related literature specifically addressing ageing and transport in LAMICs is limited, the study looks beyond transportation to assess the state of knowledge regarding the ways in which older people’s mobility is affected by issues, such as health, well-being, social (dis)engagement and gender. We find significant knowledge gaps, resulting in an evidence base to support the implementation of policy is lacking. Most research in low-income countries (LICs) is either broad quantitative analysis based on national survey data or small-scale qualitative studies. We conclude that, although study of the differing contexts of ageing in LAMICs as they relate to older people’s mobilities and transport use has barely begun, institutions which both make and influence policymaking recognise the existence of significant knowledge gaps. This should provide the context in which research agendas can be established. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Transport Corridors for Wider Socio–Economic Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5248; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195248 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
There can be two broad objectives of transport corridor development: to improve efficiency in the transport and logistics processes in the corridor, and to generate economic development in the corridor region, capitalizing on improved connectivity and transport networks. This paper focuses on the [...] Read more.
There can be two broad objectives of transport corridor development: to improve efficiency in the transport and logistics processes in the corridor, and to generate economic development in the corridor region, capitalizing on improved connectivity and transport networks. This paper focuses on the second objective of corridor development. A transport corridor can become a tool for spatially balanced and more sustainable economic development and human well-being in the corridor region. Considering the promise of this approach, this paper undertakes a critical review of transport infrastructure development studies undertaken in Sub-Saharan and South Asian countries to find evidence of infrastructure development impacts. Evidence gathered from the review suggests that transport infrastructure development can have significant positive impacts on economic growth, income, poverty, employment, equity, and inclusion. However, there can be important trade-offs between economy and welfare and environmental quality, and the distribution of impacts can be uneven. The paper also considers how some of the transport corridor development issues are addressed and complementary interventions that may be required, and, finally, discusses lessons learned from the review and their policy implications which can be useful for future corridor designs, and provides suggestions of research studies to fill the current knowledge gaps. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Addressing the Linkages between Gender and Transport in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4555; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174555 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) specifies gender equality and sustainable development as their two central priorities. An area of critical importance for sustainable and gender-fair development is mobility and transport, which has so far been neglected and downplayed in research and policy making [...] Read more.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) specifies gender equality and sustainable development as their two central priorities. An area of critical importance for sustainable and gender-fair development is mobility and transport, which has so far been neglected and downplayed in research and policy making both at the national and global levels. Rooted in the history of the topic and the emerging ideas on smart, green and integrated transport, this paper presents a literature review of on gender and transport in the low- and middle-income countries. The paper presents a host of cross-cutting topics with a concentrated focus on spatial and transport planning. The paper further identifies existing research gaps and comments on the new conceptualizations on smart cities and smart mobilities in the Global South. Due attention is paid to intersections and synergies that can be created between different development sectors, emerging transport modes, data and modeling exercises, gender equality and sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Low-Carbon Quick Wins: Integrating Short-Term Sustainable Transport Options in Climate Policy in Low-Income Countries
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4369; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164369 - 12 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In low income countries (LICs) in Africa and Asia per capita transport greenhouse gas emissions are relatively low but are expected to grow. Therefore, a substantial reduction in projected increases is required to bring emissions in line with long-term global climate objectives. Literature [...] Read more.
In low income countries (LICs) in Africa and Asia per capita transport greenhouse gas emissions are relatively low but are expected to grow. Therefore, a substantial reduction in projected increases is required to bring emissions in line with long-term global climate objectives. Literature on how LICs are integrating climate change mitigation and sustainable transport strategies is limited. Key drivers of transport policy include improving accessibility, congestion, air quality, energy security, with reducing greenhouse gas emissions being of lower priority. This paper assesses the current status, feasibility and potential of selected low-carbon transport measures with high sustainable development benefits that can be implemented in the short to medium term, so- called ‘quick wins’. It examines to what extent ten such quick wins are integrated in climate change strategies in nine low- and middle-income countries in Africa and South Asia. The research method comprises expert interviews, an online questionnaire survey of experts and policymakers in the focus countries, and a review of literature and government plans. Results indicate that sustainable urban transport policies and measures are considered high priority, with vehicle-related measures such as fuel quality and fuel economy standards and electric two- and three-wheelers being of key relevance. In existing national climate change strategies, these quick wins are integrated to a certain extent; however, with better coordination between transport and energy and environment agencies such strategies can be improved. A general conclusion of this paper is that for LICs, quick wins can connect a ‘top-down’ climate perspective with a ‘bottom-up’ transport sector perspective. A knowledge gap exists as to the mitigation potential and sustainable development benefits of these quick wins in the local context of LICs. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Road Safety in Low-Income Countries: State of Knowledge and Future Directions
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6249; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226249 - 07 Nov 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Road safety in low-income countries (LICs) remains a major concern. Given the expected increase in traffic exposure due to the relatively rapid motorisation of transport in LICs, it is imperative to better understand the underlying mechanisms of road safety. This in turn will [...] Read more.
Road safety in low-income countries (LICs) remains a major concern. Given the expected increase in traffic exposure due to the relatively rapid motorisation of transport in LICs, it is imperative to better understand the underlying mechanisms of road safety. This in turn will allow for planning cost-effective road safety improvement programs in a timely manner. With the general aim of improving road safety in LICs, this paper discusses the state of knowledge and proposes a number of future research directions developed from literature reviews and expert elicitation. Our study takes a holistic approach based on the Safe Systems framework and the framework for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. We focused mostly on examining the problem from traffic engineering and safety policy standpoints, but also touched upon other sectors, including public health and social sciences. We identified ten focus areas relating to (i) under-reporting; (ii) global best practices; (iii) vulnerable groups; (iv) disabilities; (v) road crash costing; (vi) vehicle safety; (vii) proactive approaches; (viii) data challenges; (ix) social/behavioural aspects; and (x) capacity building. Based on our findings, future research ought to focus on improvement of data systems, understanding the impact of and addressing non-fatal injuries, improving estimates on the economic burden, implementation research to scale up programs and transfer learnings, as well as capacity development. Our recommendations, which relate to both empirical and methodological frontiers, would lead to noteworthy improvements in the way road safety data collection and research is conducted in the context of LICs. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Sustainable Road Design: Promoting Recycling and Non-Conventional Materials
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6106; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216106 - 02 Nov 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Many factors impact on the sustainability of road maintenance, including the organization of road authorities, contract forms used, financing structure and, unfortunately, political interference and corruption. However, this paper reviews the opportunities to increase sustainability by utilizing less environmentally damaging material sources, and [...] Read more.
Many factors impact on the sustainability of road maintenance, including the organization of road authorities, contract forms used, financing structure and, unfortunately, political interference and corruption. However, this paper reviews the opportunities to increase sustainability by utilizing less environmentally damaging material sources, and also the associated challenges. It is a field that has seen advances in recent decades, for example in the effectiveness of cold-mix asphalt binders. Nevertheless, the opportunities are not being taken up in many countries, and this reflects uncertainty in predicting performance. This paper reviews the different design methods available, developed in both temperate and tropical climates, and highlights the lack of agreement with regard to non-conventional materials. The different sources of uncertainty and risk are then discussed, together with ways of limiting them. It is found that, while advances in performance prediction are highly desirable, the key to encouraging recycling and the use of inexpensive but non-conventional materials lies in development of the right contractual arrangements, specifically partnering and risk/reward sharing. The paper concludes with a discussion on approaches to partnering in the construction industry and the prerequisite climate of trust without which innovation is almost inevitably stifled. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Lowering Transport Costs and Prices by Competition: Regulatory and Institutional Reforms in Low Income Countries
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5940; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215940 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
High passenger and freight transport costs are a barrier to economic growth and social mobility, particularly in Low Income Countries (LICs). This paper considers the current state of knowledge regarding the barriers to achieving lower generalised transport costs. It considers both the road [...] Read more.
High passenger and freight transport costs are a barrier to economic growth and social mobility, particularly in Low Income Countries (LICs). This paper considers the current state of knowledge regarding the barriers to achieving lower generalised transport costs. It considers both the road and railway modes across passenger and freight transport. These issues include a reform on the regulations for driver hours (preventing the road infrastructure from overloading), structuring rail concessions, increasing competition, and tackling corruption. Such reforms aim to deliver efficiency gains and service quality improvements at lower costs for users. This paper identifies the knowledge gap in previous research and concludes by setting out a research agenda that builds the evidence base for how the best practices from around the world can best be applied to the specific circumstances in Low Income Countries, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Full article
Open AccessReview
Developing a New Technical Strategy for Rail Infrastructure in Low-Income Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4319; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164319 - 09 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Low-income countries (LICs) in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are investing in new railway lines to replace deteriorated infrastructure from the 19th and 20th century. These actions, despite financial and economic constraints, have been justified in common visions of continent-wide efficient networks to [...] Read more.
Low-income countries (LICs) in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are investing in new railway lines to replace deteriorated infrastructure from the 19th and 20th century. These actions, despite financial and economic constraints, have been justified in common visions of continent-wide efficient networks to cope with the demands of growing populations. However, most of the recent rail infrastructure projects are driven by international suppliers’ preferences and financing rather than creating railways that match the requirements of interoperable regional networks. This paper therefore explores the current status of rail infrastructure in these LICs and the operational performance achieved to understand specific capability gaps in each regional network. Drawing from the experience of European countries in transforming regional future visions into applied research, a technical strategy for rail infrastructure in LICs is proposed. The strategy captures the key capabilities to be addressed in order to achieve future performance goals, while emphasizing the need for emerging technologies to be used in fit-for-purpose solutions. It is envisioned that the strategy will provide the basis for the development of continental technical strategy programs with specific technology roadmaps towards a common goal. Full article
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