Measuring Street Network Disruptions’ Impacts on Real-World Trips to Design More Resilient Infrastructure

Street networks allow people and goods to move through cities, but they are vulnerable to disruptions resulting from floods, earthquakes, warfare, and terrorist attacks. Well-planned network design can make a city more resilient and robust to such disruptions. The proposed study will build on recent METRANS-funded research that quantified and measured the vulnerability of the street networks of every urban area in the world then modeled the relationships between vulnerability and street network design characteristics. This prior work simulated over 2.4 billion random trips after simulated network disruption events representing floods, earthquakes, and targeted attacks. However, its models and simulations were necessarily limited to data consistently available worldwide: for example, its trips were randomly rather than empirically distributed, and its flooding simulations used rough proxies such as elevation rather than empirical flood risk data. The proposed study builds on this prior work in several ways to identify specific resilience intervention points for policymakers and planners. It will use empirical data on trip patterns and disaster risk to identify the characteristics of road networks, trips, and communities most vulnerable to disconnection and inaccessibility following a network disruption. First it will build graph models of the street networks of all US urban areas. Then it will use (1) LEHD LODES and (2) SafeGraph data to develop per-urban area origin-destination matrices roughly representing commutes and non-work trips, respectively. Next it will simulate three types of network disruption: (1) targeted attacks (based on the most “important” points of the network, i.e., the highest betweenness centralities), (2) high spatial entropy disruptions (i.e., randomized points of failure), and (3) flooding events (probabilistically based on empirical distributions of risk from FEMA’s National Risk Index for Riverine Flooding). The research team will then investigate how trips (1) get disconnected by these events, leaving certain communities or destinations inaccessible, and (2) how trips that remain connected become less efficient in having to reroute following these events. Finally, the team will link these changes to (1) network characteristics to understand the design/engineering characteristics of less-vulnerable underlying physical infrastructure, and (2) social characteristics to understand how disasters affect disadvantaged/isolated communities and critical infrastructure. In turn, the team will identify high leverage points for planners and policymakers to protect vulnerable communities and supply chains from disconnection and inaccessibility while strengthening infrastructure to be more resilient in an era of climate change.


  • English


  • Status: Programmed
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    METRANS Transportation Consortium

    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA  United States 
  • Project Managers:

    Hong, Jennifer

    Bruner, Britain

  • Principal Investigators:

    Boeing, Geoff

  • Start Date: 20240301
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240515
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01907999
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348309
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Feb 13 2024 9:45PM