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Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 38678

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 8, 90128 Palermo, Italy
Interests: sustainability; life cycle assessment; recycling; bitumen; asphalt; smart infrastructure; road pavements; railway trackbeds
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Guest Editor
Department of Construction Engineering and Engineering Project, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
Interests: asphalt; pavement; road and railway; construction materials and technologies; sustainability; testing and monitoring
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Guest Editor
Department of Transportation Engineering, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Interests: bituminous materials; sustainability; pavement infrastructure; life cycle assessment

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Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna, 40131 Bologna, Italy
Interests: pavements; bituminous materials; recycled materials; innovative paving materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
GITECO Research Group, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
Interests: materials; pavements; numerical simulation; bitumen rheology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is dedicated to papers focusing on enabling the sustainable development of transport infrastructure, by embracing smart technologies and frameworks for safer and more resilient mobility on future roads, railways, airports, and ports. Moreover, ‘smart’ here is intended not only to mean ‘intelligent’, but also to refer to the elegant solutions achievable through the use of emerging technologies and techniques that are new, or still at an early stage, in the transport infrastructure sector. The scientific papers might be covering both applied and fundamental research for urban and inter-urban surface transport and they can focus on any of the sustainability pillars. The papers must introduce frameworks, technologies and applications for improving current approaches for the design and management of sustainable transport infrastructure, by proposing new solutions which are derived from emerging themes, such as: investigating effective techniques for recycling waste/secondary materials; using life-cycle based techniques and a circular approach for technology development; enabling more sustainable asset management; proposing end-of-life strategies for materials, components and infrastructure itself; preserving existing infrastructures by conceiving resilient transportation; designing to guarantee safety; envisioning future transportation by introducing innovative applications of structural monitoring, earth observation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, cybersecurity, digitalization, big data, and connected and autonomous mobility.

Dr. Davide Lo Presti
Prof. Dr. Fernando Moreno-Navarro
Dr. Kamilla Vasconcelos Savasini
Prof. Dr. Cesare Sangiorgi
Prof. Dr. Daniel Fresno Castro
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2400 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

  • sustainability
  • resilience
  • safety
  • smart infrastructure and cities
  • future transportation
  • connected and autonomous vehicles
  • roads
  • railways
  • airports
  • ports

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

14 pages, 4220 KiB  
Article
Study on Migratory Behavior of Aggregate in Asphalt Mixture Based on the Intelligent Acquisition System of Aggregate Attitude Data
by Chen Zhang and Zhengwei Zhang
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3053; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063053 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1779
Abstract
In order to provide a new method to study the migration behavior of coarse aggregates in the compaction process of asphalt mixtures, the “Intelligent Aggregate Attitude Acquisition System (IAS)” is developed based on 3D printing technology and wireless intelligent sensing technology, and the [...] Read more.
In order to provide a new method to study the migration behavior of coarse aggregates in the compaction process of asphalt mixtures, the “Intelligent Aggregate Attitude Acquisition System (IAS)” is developed based on 3D printing technology and wireless intelligent sensing technology, and the “Intelligent Attitude Aggregate (IAA)” is prepared as the acquisition terminal. The Superpave Gyratory Compaction (SGC) test and the Internet of Things (IOT) wireless sensor technology are combined to collect and analyze the attitude data of an SMA-20 asphalt mixture built in IAA at different compaction stages, and the migration behavior of coarse aggregate in the compaction process is quantitatively characterized. The result shows that the IAA is suitable as a “tracking aggregate” to study the aggregate transfer behavior in asphalt mixtures. The IAA in the upper layer tends to move vertically downward, while the particles in the lower layer tend to move horizontally and spatial rotation in the process of rotating compaction. With the increase in asphalt content, the lubrication effect between aggregate particles is obvious, and the friction resistance of aggregate particles decreases when it is embedded downward. Affected by shear force in the process of rotary compaction, the aggregate particles are easier to overcome friction and cause large horizontal migration and spatial rotation. With the increase in compaction temperature, the viscosity of asphalt binder decreases, and the contact friction between aggregate particles decreases. The asphalt content has a significant effect on the displacement in the horizontal plane Dxoy of the aggregate. The asphalt content and compaction temperature have significant effects on the spatial rotation angle Φ of aggregate, but the asphalt content has a greater impact on it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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20 pages, 4403 KiB  
Article
Potential Carbon Footprint Reduction for Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement Innovations: LCA Methodology, Best Available Technology, and Near-Future Reduction Potential
by Diana Eliza Godoi Bizarro, Zoran Steinmann, Isabel Nieuwenhuijse, Elisabeth Keijzer and Mara Hauck
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1382; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031382 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4462
Abstract
The carbon footprints of asphalt mixtures with increasing reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) content were estimated using a life-cycle assessment methodology. Three asphalt mixtures with different applications and technical requirements, namely porous asphalt (PA), stone mastic asphalt (SMA), and asphalt concrete (AC), were included. [...] Read more.
The carbon footprints of asphalt mixtures with increasing reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) content were estimated using a life-cycle assessment methodology. Three asphalt mixtures with different applications and technical requirements, namely porous asphalt (PA), stone mastic asphalt (SMA), and asphalt concrete (AC), were included. The technology leaps needed to achieve asphalt mixtures containing up to 93% RAP were modelled. Mixtures containing up to 57% RAP were hot-mix asphalts (175 °C), while mixtures containing more RAP were produced at 135 °C and 105 °C. The energy requirements and their respective carbon footprints were calculated based on the heat capacity of the aggregates, RAP, and other bituminous materials. Furthermore, the effects of changing the country’s electricity mix were also evaluated. A potential carbon footprint reduction of between 55% and 64% was found for one tonne of asphalt containing 93% RAP and produced at 105 °C compared to the 0% RAP mixture produced at 175 °C. Considering the uncertainty of this technology at its early stage of development, the reduction could be as low as 45% or as high as 79%. Changing the electricity mix to one that is likely to be implemented until 2030 in the Netherlands further reduces the footprint by 10%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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19 pages, 1841 KiB  
Article
Decision Support in Selecting Airfield Pavement Design Alternatives Using Life Cycle Assessment: Case Study of Nashville Airport
by Ali Azhar Butt, John Harvey, Arash Saboori, Maryam Ostovar, Manuel Bejarano and Navneet Garg
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010299 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2218
Abstract
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken measures to improve safety, reduce costs, increase resilience, and improve the sustainability of the United States (U.S.) airfield infrastructure by using a life-cycle cost analysis methodology to increase the efficient use of economic resources needed for [...] Read more.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken measures to improve safety, reduce costs, increase resilience, and improve the sustainability of the United States (U.S.) airfield infrastructure by using a life-cycle cost analysis methodology to increase the efficient use of economic resources needed for expanding and preserving the airfield system. However, a life-cycle assessment (LCA) approach for evaluating the environmental impacts of decisions regarding airfield infrastructure has yet to be fully developed and applied. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the use of the airfield LCA framework that was developed for the FAA and can be used by U.S. airports. The comparison of alternative pavement designs at Nashville International Airport (BNA) is presented. The scope of the study was from cradle to laid; materials, materials transportation, and construction stages of the pavement life cycle are considered, and the maintenance, use and end of life stages are not considered. Primary data were acquired from BNA and secondary data were used in situations of unavailability of primary data. The case study showed that performing LCA provides opportunities for airports to consider energy use and environment-related impacts in the decision-making process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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11 pages, 2030 KiB  
Article
Recyclability Potential of Induction-Healable Porous Asphalt Mixtures
by Pedro Lastra-González, Irune Indacoechea-Vega, Miguel A. Calzada-Pérez and Daniel Castro-Fresno
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9962; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239962 - 28 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1470
Abstract
The potential recyclability of healable asphalt mixtures has been analyzed in this paper. A healable porous asphalt mixture with steel wool fibers was artificially aged in order to assess its recyclability. This mixture was used as reclaimed asphalt in a new porous asphalt [...] Read more.
The potential recyclability of healable asphalt mixtures has been analyzed in this paper. A healable porous asphalt mixture with steel wool fibers was artificially aged in order to assess its recyclability. This mixture was used as reclaimed asphalt in a new porous asphalt mixture, whose mechanical and healing capacities were studied and compared with the behavior of the original porous asphalt mixture. The quantity of reclaimed asphalt mixture added was 40%; besides, in order to recover the properties of the aged binder, and incorporate the last advances in the recyclability of bituminous mixtures, a rejuvenator was also added (SYLVAROAD™ RP1000). The voids test, Cantabro particle loss test, water sensitivity test, stiffness test, and fatigue resistance test were performed to mechanically study the experimental mixture, while the last one (fatigue resistance test) was also used to assess its healing capacity. The results have shown that the healing capacity of the original healable porous asphalt mixture is maintained with similar mechanical performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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11 pages, 5909 KiB  
Article
Interpretation of the Magnetic Field Signals Emitted by Encoded Asphalt Pavement Materials
by Paulina Leiva-Padilla, Fernando Moreno-Navarro, Guillermo Iglesias and Mª Carmen Rubio-Gamez
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7300; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187300 - 06 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3651
Abstract
Asphalt materials modified with different types and dosages of magnetically responsive materials can emit patterns of magnetic signals easily detectable by magnetic field sensors. These patterns could be used to encode roads and improve infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V)/road-to-vehicle (R2V) communications. In this sense, this paper [...] Read more.
Asphalt materials modified with different types and dosages of magnetically responsive materials can emit patterns of magnetic signals easily detectable by magnetic field sensors. These patterns could be used to encode roads and improve infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V)/road-to-vehicle (R2V) communications. In this sense, this paper presents a laboratory study addressed to analyze the magnetic field signals emitted by encoded asphalt specimens manufactured with various dosages of steel fibers. The analysis consisted in the evaluation of the influence of three parameters: (1) the height of placement of the magnetic field sensors, (2) the approach speed of the encoded specimen/vehicle and (3) the distance from signal detection. Results show that, for each one of the parameters evaluated, there is a limit value below which it is possible to work with the magnetic signal emitted by the encoded samples. A proof of concept was used to validate the results obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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14 pages, 4679 KiB  
Article
Use of Recycled Aggregates Made from Construction and Demolition Waste in Sustainable Road Base Layers
by Evelio Teijón-López-Zuazo, Ángel Vega-Zamanillo, Miguel Ángel Calzada-Pérez and Ángel Robles-Miguel
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6663; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166663 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2738
Abstract
Research has been carried out on recycled aggregates from the exclusive crushing of structural concrete waste (CDWRCon) and mixed ceramic materials (CDWRCer) in selective demolitions. This study analyses the use of these recycled aggregates as wet mix macadam (GARCon, GARCer) and in cement [...] Read more.
Research has been carried out on recycled aggregates from the exclusive crushing of structural concrete waste (CDWRCon) and mixed ceramic materials (CDWRCer) in selective demolitions. This study analyses the use of these recycled aggregates as wet mix macadam (GARCon, GARCer) and in cement soil (CSRCon, CSRCer). The materials comply with the requirements of a road base; although, due to the low values of resistance to fragmentation, these materials are adequate for use in sensitive road systems and other places, such as urban roads and car parks, that have a low intensity of heavy traffic. As soluble salt contents were detected, additional waterproofing or drainage measures must be adopted to prevent water infiltration into the layers made up of CDWRCon or CDWRCer. Finally, the high initial values of unconfined compressive strength (UCS) allow the temporary passage of light vehicles over CSRCon or CSRCer after three days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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19 pages, 2000 KiB  
Article
Environmental Potentials of Asphalt Materials Applied to Urban Roads: Case Study of the City of Münster
by Mayara S. Siverio Lima, Mohsen Hajibabaei, Sina Hesarkazzazi, Robert Sitzenfrei, Alexander Buttgereit, Cesar Queiroz, Arnold Tautschnig and Florian Gschösser
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6113; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156113 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4578
Abstract
Life cycle assessment (LCA) tools have been used by governments and city administrators to support the decision-making process toward creating a more sustainable society. Since LCA is strongly influenced by local conditions and may vary according to various factors, several institutions have launched [...] Read more.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) tools have been used by governments and city administrators to support the decision-making process toward creating a more sustainable society. Since LCA is strongly influenced by local conditions and may vary according to various factors, several institutions have launched cooperation projects to achieve sustainable development goals. In this study, we assessed the potential environmental enhancements within the production of road materials applied to the road network of Münster, Germany. We also compared traditional pavement structures used in Münster and alternative options containing asphalt mixtures with larger amounts of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). Although the case study was conducted in Münster, the data collected and the results obtained in this study can be used for comparison purposes in other investigations. In the analysis, we considered all environmental impacts from raw material extraction to the finished product at the asphalt plant. Two environmental indicators were used: non-renewable cumulative energy demand (nr-CED) and global warming potential (GWP). The results show that using RAP increases the consumption of energy but potentially decreases the environmental impacts in terms of the nr-CED and GWP associated with the production of asphalt materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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Review

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20 pages, 34130 KiB  
Review
A Critical Review of Sensors for the Continuous Monitoring of Smart and Sustainable Railway Infrastructures
by Juan Manuel Castillo-Mingorance, Miguel Sol-Sánchez, Fernando Moreno-Navarro and María Carmen Rubio-Gámez
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9428; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229428 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3725
Abstract
Real-time and continuous monitoring through smart sensors is considered to be the evolution of traditional track testing, enabling the earlier detection of the main failure modes that degrade railway tracks. Through carrying out preventive maintenance operations, infrastructure resources may be optimized, leading to [...] Read more.
Real-time and continuous monitoring through smart sensors is considered to be the evolution of traditional track testing, enabling the earlier detection of the main failure modes that degrade railway tracks. Through carrying out preventive maintenance operations, infrastructure resources may be optimized, leading to smarter and more sustainable infrastructure. For this reason, under the larger goal of creating a synergy with various types of sensors for railway tracks, this article presents a critical review on the different, currently available sensors for smart and continuous monitoring. Specifically, the most appropriate monitoring technologies for each of the main railway track failure modes have been assessed and identified, thus deriving the advantages and capacities of each solution. Furthermore, this review presents some of the main experiences carried out to date in literature by using sensor technologies, such as strain gauges, piezoelectric sensors, fiber-optics, geophones and accelerometers. These technologies have proven to offer appropriate characteristics and accuracy for the continuous monitoring of a railway track’s structural state, being capable of measuring different parameters, such as deflections, deformations, stresses or accelerations that would permit the technical tracking of various forms of degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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19 pages, 1755 KiB  
Review
European National Road Authorities and Circular Economy: An Insight into Their Approaches
by Konstantinos Mantalovas, Gaetano Di Mino, Ana Jimenez Del Barco Carrion, Elisabeth Keijzer, Björn Kalman, Tony Parry and Davide Lo Presti
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7160; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177160 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 4113
Abstract
The pavement engineering industry, having realized the significance of the impacts that it imposes on the environment through the production, construction and management of its products and assets, has been driven towards a more sustainable and circular way of operating. This has partly [...] Read more.
The pavement engineering industry, having realized the significance of the impacts that it imposes on the environment through the production, construction and management of its products and assets, has been driven towards a more sustainable and circular way of operating. This has partly been through asphalt recycling, which is an area that many road authorities have prioritized. However, not all the National Road Authorities (NRAs) and/or sector stakeholders seem to be adequately familiar with the Circular Economy (CE) concept. This paper attempts to assist the transition of NRAs to a more circular way of doing business, by analyzing the current situation of CE within national/regional authorities and NRAs. To do so, a questionnaire was sent to different NRAs and an online search was conducted to identify the ways that NRAs communicate their CE practices. Findings indicate that, although the majority of the NRAs are familiar with CE as a concept, not many actions have been taken so far towards its holistic implementation. Finally, there is a significant lack of CE expertise and communication within these bodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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27 pages, 5750 KiB  
Review
Recent Developments in the Energy Harvesting Systems from Road Infrastructures
by Niloufar Zabihi and Mohamed Saafi
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6738; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176738 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 8412
Abstract
The rapid increase in energy demand has resulted in more dependence on fossil fuels, which leads to higher CO2 emissions every year. To overcome this problem, shifting from fossil fuel-based energy resources to renewable and sustainable ones is essential. One of the [...] Read more.
The rapid increase in energy demand has resulted in more dependence on fossil fuels, which leads to higher CO2 emissions every year. To overcome this problem, shifting from fossil fuel-based energy resources to renewable and sustainable ones is essential. One of the new research areas developed in this context is the harvesting of energy from urban infrastructures and, in particular, roads. A large amount of energy in the form of heat or kinetic energy is wasted annually on roads. Recovering these local forms of energy as electricity would improve the energy efficiency of cities. In this review paper, recent developments in the field of energy recovery from roads using solar panels, piezoelectric, thermoelectric and electromagnetic harvesters are discussed along with their efficiency, cost and field implementation. Moreover, new advancements in developing compatible energy storage systems are also discussed and summarised. Based on the review, although all of these systems have the potential of recovering at least a part of the wasted energy, only one of them (the electromagnetic converters) is capable of generating a considerable energy level. In addition, based on the evaluation of the maturity of the technologies, and their cost analyses, more studies are required in order to fill the gap between the current state of the technologies and their full operational form. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Solutions for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure)
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