Lars-Göran Mattsson is Professor Emeritus of Transport Systems Analysis at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. He finished his M.Sc. in Engineering Physics at KTH in 1972 and received his Ph.D. in Optimisation there in 1987. After working for the Office of Regional Planning and Urban Transportation, County of Stockholm, he returned back to KTH as Associate Professor (Docent) of Regional Planning in 1991. He held positions as Acting Professor and Head of the Division of Transport and Traffic Planning, 1995-97, and Acting Professor of Transport Systems Analysis from 1998 until he was appointed Professor in 1999. His research interests comprise both theoretical and applied work related to transport and location analysis. In particular, he is interested in integrated land use and transport models, travel demand models, location models, infrastructure and regional development, vulnerability analysis, applied systems analysis, road pricing, random utility theory, discrete choice and economic theory.
Reflections on transport vulnerability and resilience research
I will give some personal reflections on the development of research on the vulnerability and resilience of the transport system. I will briefly discuss how concepts such as reliability, robustness, redundancy, vulnerability and resilience have been interpreted and defined. There are different research traditions in the field that I will try to characterise and compare. Shocks and disturbances that affect the transport system have various causes. The initiating events are also different and different modes of transport are more or less vulnerable to them. This is important to keep in mind when considering measures and strategies to withstand, absorb and adapt to shocks and disturbances and to recover quickly and effectively from the consequences. There has been an explosion of research in recent decades. New methodological approaches have been applied and new research questions have been asked. For the future, we can see new issues of increasing importance. Road traffic is facing extensive electrification and the trend is towards self-driving and connected vehicles. In addition, we have the ongoing climate change, while we do not know if there will be any lasting effects Covid-19. What will all these factors mean for the vulnerability and resilience of our future transport system? Our research area has yielded many valuable research results. I hope that they will be useful in strengthening the resilience of the transport system and the crisis management capacity of society.
Dr. Tina Comes is Delft Technology Fellow and Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Systems and Services at the TU Delft, Netherlands, and Full Professor in Decision-Making & Digitalisation at the University of Maastricht. Dr. Comes is a Visiting Professor at the Université Dauphine, France, and a member of the Norwegian Academy for Technological Sciences. She serves as the Scientific Director of the 4TU.Centre for Resilience Engineering, as Principle Investigator on Climate Resilience for AMS, as Director of the TPM Resilience Lab, and she leads the Disaster Resilience theme for the Delft Global Initiative. She is advising the European Commission as the Chair of the SAPEA Working Group on the Future of Strategic Crisis Management in Europe.
Since her PhD on distributed decisions from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), Dr. Comes’ research focuses on decision-making and information technology for resilience and disaster management. Solidly rooted in this direction, she conducts research on using information and smart technology for better decisions and coordination in complex, volatile and uncertain environments. Grounded in this orientation, she has conducted research with stakeholders and decision-makers in private companies, public authorities and international organizations. This perspective on decision making, resilience and humanitarian response is reflected in more than 100 publications.
Navigating a turbulent world: opportunities in resilience research
Resilience, as the capacity to rapidly recover from crises, adapt and grow, has rapidly risen to the top of the agenda for sustainable development. As the world is still combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, and with important investments being mobilized globally for resilient cities and infrastructures, this trend is expected to continue. With the turn to digitalization, increasingly smart cities and infrastructures, new opportunities to improve resilience via better planning and decision-making arise. At the same time, this increasing interconnectedness increases complexity and thereby creates new pitfalls and challenges. Major challenges remain in (rapidly) identifying and analysing data sources and develop from there meaningful and actionable information.
Through case studies ranging from disaster logistics to urban planning, I will outline key resilience principles and related research traditions, and highlight how data and information can be used to improve both the rapid response to disasters and longer-term adaptation. Further, I will discuss the intersection of methods and problems in resilience with the field of transportation and logistics, and will highlight potential avenues for (joint) future research.