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Special Issue "Vulnerability and Resilience of Transport Systems: How to Manage Unexpected Events"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Luca Mantecchini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
DICAM—School of Engineering and Architecture, University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento, 2-40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: air transportation; transport sustainability; vulnerability and resilience of transport systems
Prof. Dr. Maria Nadia Postorino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering (DICAM), Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Interests: transport systems; sustainable mobility; urban air mobility (UAM); intelligent transport systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are calling for papers for a Special Issue of Sustainability with the aim of gathering knowledge and discussing innovative research paths on transport system resilience. Transport providers, policy makers and local/national bodies have to adapt to evolving and uncertain conditions to respond to changes in travel demand and to face unexpected disruptions, while maintaining high quality and sustainable services. COVID-19 pandemic has showed that unexpected, serious situations may occur quickly, in which transport systems are put under unprecedented strain and, as long as the hazards persist, transport services may suffer from severe disruptions, which in turn have relevant effects on user’s behaviors and future travel choices. However, new technologies, meteorological conditions, and social and urban variations—among others—might also produce unexpected transport system disruptions at several levels of complexity.

To deal with such situations, resilient transport systems are needed, to provide essential functions during a disruption and above all recover fast and efficiently the regular service conditions. Having emerged in recent years as central concern for regulators, transport operators and researchers, transport system resilience has been widely discussed together with the related concepts of vulnerability and robustness. However, several questions are still open, such as: how might transport system resilience be suitably assessed and measured? How might it be enhanced? How might the individual elements of a transport system that make it more vulnerable be identified?

Original research articles dealing with theoretical approaches and empirical evidence for transport resilience analyses are welcome, including practical implementations, case studies and emerging models/methods. Papers dealing with the impacts caused by the recent COVID-19 pandemic on transport systems are also appreciated, in order to provide contributions to transport operators and policy makers on how to enhance transport resilience in potentially similar situations.

This Special Issue will provide a platform for exchanging knowledge within the context of response to and management of unexpected events, with the expectation to be of interest primarily for academics and researchers and then for practitioners and experts involved in the planning/management process of transport systems.

Key topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Techniques, models and methods to identify, assess and measure road, rail, air and public transport system resilience;

- Theoretical approaches to resilience analysis, as well as related concepts such as vulnerability and robustness of transport services;

- Lesson learned, tools and case studies that support the development of resilient transport systems, both for passengers and freight;

- Policy issues dealing with the implementation of transport systems resilience in practice;

- Measures, actions and approaches to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic emergency on transport systems.

Prof. Dr. Luca Mantecchini
Prof. Dr. Maria Nadia Postorino
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

  • transport systems
  • resilience
  • vulnerability
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • transport system disruption

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Public Transport Network Vulnerability and Delay Distribution among Travelers
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8737; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168737 - 05 Aug 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Methodologies and approaches for assessing the vulnerability of a public transport network are generally based on quantifying the average delay generated for passengers by some type of disruption. In this work, a novel methodology is proposed, which combines the traditional approach, based on [...] Read more.
Methodologies and approaches for assessing the vulnerability of a public transport network are generally based on quantifying the average delay generated for passengers by some type of disruption. In this work, a novel methodology is proposed, which combines the traditional approach, based on the quantitative evaluation of averaged disruption effects, with the analysis of the asymmetry of effects among users, by means of Lorenz curves and Gini index. This allows evaluating whether the negative consequences of disruptions are equally spread among passengers or if differences exist. The results obtained show the potential of the proposed method to provide better knowledge about the effects of a disruption on a public transport network. Particularly, it emerged that disrupted scenarios that appear similar in terms of average impacts are actually very different in terms of the asymmetry of effects among users. Full article
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Article
The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Resilience of Sustainable Mobility in Sicily
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8829; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218829 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 54 | Viewed by 4429
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented measures changing travel habits in many countries. Many users have started to prefer traveling by private cars, which is against the sustainability policies of the European cities. The necessity of gaining a deeper understanding of road [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented measures changing travel habits in many countries. Many users have started to prefer traveling by private cars, which is against the sustainability policies of the European cities. The necessity of gaining a deeper understanding of road users’ travel habit changes, their feelings on public transport use, and their perceptions of using sustainable urban mobility modes has emerged for future transport planning. Considering these facts, the study in this paper aimed to investigate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on road users’ perceptions, needs, and use of sustainable travel modes (i.e., public transport, walking, and cycling). An online survey was carried out during the period from March to May 2020 in the case study area, Sicily of Southern Italy. Regarding the population of the case study, the survey was representative, with 431 individuals. The survey included variables, namely gender, age, city of residence, private car ownership, walking and cycling frequency before and during the pandemic, public transport use frequency for leisure activities before and during the pandemic, need for remote working, and the stress and anxiety perception of using public transport during the pandemic. The analysis started with descriptive statistics and it was followed by correlation analysis in order to explore the characteristics of the dataset and relationship between variables. It was found that these were not statistically significantly correlated at a 95% confidence level. An ordinal regression model was applied for determining the predictions. The results suggested that women were less likely to walk during the pandemic than men. Participants were more likely to resume remote work even after the second phase in order to reduce their daily travel needs and keep their isolation. Participants have expressed a positive opinion on the use of micromobility during pandemic situations. These results can be considered as a basis for sustainable urban planning and a guide for decision-makers who aim to encourage the use of public transport, walking, cycling, and micromobility. Full article
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Article
Scenario-Based Allocation of Emergency Resources in Metro Emergencies: A Model Development and a Case Study of Nanjing Metro
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6380; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166380 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 809
Abstract
As metro systems are becoming more and more widely used, all kinds of emergencies happen from time to time. A series of cases indicate that inefficient emergency response is a dominating cause of tremendous casualties and losses. The fast and valid allocation of [...] Read more.
As metro systems are becoming more and more widely used, all kinds of emergencies happen from time to time. A series of cases indicate that inefficient emergency response is a dominating cause of tremendous casualties and losses. The fast and valid allocation of emergency resources after the occurrence of metro emergencies has become a key point in improving the sustainability of metro operations. However, few studies have attempted to determine the allocation of emergency resources in metro emergencies. In this study, considering the unpredictability of different emergency scenarios in the metro system, the scenario-response mode was applied in the resource allocation decision. In this mode, a metro emergency scenario framework was first constructed through the identification of metro emergency elements. Next, a multi-objective model was established for the allocation of emergency resources in the metro emergency rescue process using a scenario-based analysis. The model aims to minimize both the penalty costs due to delays and the sum of allocation costs. The particle swarm optimization algorithm was adopted to solve the model. Eventually, a fire accident scenario at Nanjing Metro was applied to verify the feasibility and validity of the presented model and algorithm. The research results not only enrich and improve metro emergency management theoretically, but also enhance metro emergency rescue ability in practice. Full article
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Review

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Review
Role of Transport during Outbreak of Infectious Diseases: Evidence from the Past
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7367; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187367 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1688
Abstract
The outbreak of infectious diseases affects people’s lifestyles significantly, as they undertake fewer outdoor activities as a protective measure and to follow government orders of restricted movements. This paper reviewed the scientific literature related to transport and infectious diseases to gain insights into [...] Read more.
The outbreak of infectious diseases affects people’s lifestyles significantly, as they undertake fewer outdoor activities as a protective measure and to follow government orders of restricted movements. This paper reviewed the scientific literature related to transport and infectious diseases to gain insights into managing such circumstances. The outcomes indicate that the transport sector has a two-fold role during the outbreak of infectious diseases: controlling the spread of infection and assessing the impact of reduced outdoor activities on the transport sector. It was found that local and international travel restrictions, if applied at the initial stages, are effective in controlling the spread of infectious disease; at a later stage, behavioral changes become prominent in limiting the spread. Further, the outbreaks resulted in a significant reduction in mobility, altering traffic patterns with lower peaks and improving traffic safety. The public transport mode share reduced considerably and people preferred cars and active modes. These changes also showed positive impacts on air pollution and water pollution. Further, the air transport and tourism sector were noted to be the hardest hit and will recover slowly. The outcomes from the review will be useful for planners and administrators in managing future emergency conditions better. Full article
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