Transport and Communications Bulletin for Asia and the Pacific, No.90 “Resilience of Transport Systems and Services”

Journal9 Dec 2020

The Transport and Communication Bulletin for Asia and the Pacific is a peer-reviewed journal that is published once a year by the Transport Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The Bulletin is a medium in which knowledge, experience, ideas, policy options and information on the development of transport infrastructure and services in the Asia-Pacific region is shared. The main objectives to these are to stimulate policy-oriented research and to increase awareness on the policy issues and responses of the transportation industry. The Bulletin attempts to widen and deepen the debate on the issues of interest and concern in the transport sector. For the 90th issue, the Bulletin focuses on the theme of “Resilience”.

Frequency of natural disasters and climate events are increasing in the Asia and the Pacific region. We have witnessed transport infrastructure and services damaged by floods, rising sea levels, cyclones, and earthquakes. Transport infrastructure in mountainous terrain, coastal areas, and near riverbanks are more vulnerable to climate events and natural disasters. Resilience of transport systems and services is vital for socio-economic development as well as in relief operations. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 9.1 calls to develop quality, reliable, sustainable infrastructure and target 13.1 calls to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries. Therefore, transport planners, policymakers and designers need to acknowledge the threat posed by the climate events and enhanced intensity and frequency of natural disasters in the region.

Of all the changes brought upon by COVID-19, no other landscape has undergone such a pronounced and sweeping transformation as the city. The increasing urgency of climate change has meant that most cities have already recognised a need for a radical recalibration of people’s urban lifestyles. The speed with which cities have been forced to adapt to COVID-19 proves that such change is possible. Indeed, the experience of cities suggests that successful future mobility will involve a far greater emphasis on active mobility, integrated transport modes, and a more socially inclusive, community-focused system. When COVID-19 first began to spread, people witnessed a dramatic reduction in CO2 levels in many of the world’s most heavily polluted cities. The key now lies in retaining this unquestionably positive side-effect of the pandemic, for our own health and for generations to follow.

Each of the following five papers selected for this issue contribute to different aspects and novel perspectives on the theme of resilience, and include various approaches in improving resilience of transport systems in a particular context.

Article 1 - Understanding School Travel Behavior and the Impact of Awareness Raising to Promote Resilient Public Bus System in the Coastal City in Indonesia: A Case of Semarang city
Article 2 - An Analytical Approach on Transport Resilience with Smart Transport Systems
Article 3 - Resilient Transport Systems and Services: The Case of India’s Railway System
Article 4 - Assessing the Climate-Related Disaster Resilience of Urban Transport Systems in Asian Cities
Article 5 - Impact of COVID-19 on Urban Mobility in Indian Cities