Beyond Utility!

by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Equity Principles Highlight Variations in Road Network Criticality

Network criticality analysis, often used for prioritising transport interventions, is typically conducted using a utilitarian principle. This measures and maximises the total utility of the transport system for all, in the process disregarding inequalities between different population groups. This research seeks to incorporate four different distributive equity principles in the calculation of road segment criticality, and to assess how different principles affect the identification of critical segments.

Using OpenStreetMaps data, we define and modify Origin-Destination matrices in accordance with different equity principles for 22 middle- and lower-income countries. Subsequently, we assign traffic across national road networks and rank those links in terms of volume of travel. This allows measurement and comparison of the impact of four different equity principles on national road network criticality.

Key Findings

  • Significant variations exist in criticality rankings and spatial distribution of critical links when different equity principles are used.
  • There is a need to deliberately reflect on the equity principle used when performing network criticality analysis. Decision-makers and transport authorities must use measures of criticality in accordance with their values in planning contexts.

Research Article is available on Findings

Jin Rui Yap
Jin Rui Yap
Master Student of Engineering and Policy Analysis

Former civil engineer looking to explore the interplay between engineering and urban science and policy. I am interested in making livable cities a reality everywhere.