Transport Network Vulnerability and Resilience in Western Balkans

Background Western Balkans transportation network face chronic stresses of aging infrastructure, population growth, increased freight volumes and budgetary constraints. Most of the transportation infrastructure in the Western Balkans was built in the 1960s and 1970s and is therefore is in urgent need of rehabilitation or replacement. Furthermore, communities in the Western Balkans have an increasing reliance on transportation networks for their daily activities. Today’s challenge is to maintain the integrity and increase the capacity of infrastructure to meet changing demand – economically, environmentally friendly, safely and within the tight fiscal and policy schedules required. Unfortunately, Western Balkans transportation systems also face acute shocks. As identified by the World Bank report Natural Disaster Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis, the Western Balkans is particularly susceptible to earthquakes, hydrological hazards (drought and flooding), and in its forest regions, wildfires. As climate change continues to alter the frequency and intensity of many types of events, these acute shocks can be expected to worsen in the future. This project aimed to enhance the World Bank’s understanding of trade and transportation network vulnerability through modelling and the assessment enables proactive planning for hazards and improved protection of assets, as well as the strengthening of responses to disaster events and emergency incidents. Project Details The project started in May 2018 and was completed in September 2019. The project focused on 6 countries in the Western Balkans region: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania. Through this project the authors have: • Collated and analysed meteorological, hydrological and environmental data to ascertain the scale and potential impacts and likelihood of potential natural hazards, as well as different exposure pathways; • Collated and analysed social, economic, policy and technological data to ascertain to status, competitiveness and potential vulnerability of the current transport/regional trade network in Western Balkans; • Combined and cross-validated the results of these impact and infrastructure assessments using spatial analysis techniques to determine priority areas along vital transport corridors which are potentially at high-risk and require further investigation; • Modelled the impact of natural hazards and manmade disasters (current and with climate change and socio-economic changes) on the operation and delivery of major transport infrastructure in the high-risk areas identified. The authors used a regional VISUM REBIS Model to understand the impact of potential interruptions on traffic flow reassignment and increase in journey times resulting from damages to the transport network in the region; • Undertaken a resilience-led cost-benefit analysis of engineering actions to inform the robust improvement, design and delivery of existing and/or new transport infrastructure and actions considering climate and socio-economic changes; and • Critically evaluated and apply appropriate Decision-Making under Uncertainty methods and Multi-Criteria Analysis to determine robust and priority interventions and financing strategies, recognising the risk appetite and acute priorities of local stakeholders. Challenges The main challenge associated with this project was the lack of in region data available to inform the study. The team used local experts to obtain all available data and used alternative European and US sources of data where applicable. The team have presented the results from the study using innovative methods. A GIS portal was developed to display data in an interactive visual way. This has allowed the client to engage key stakeholders effectively. Results The outputs from the project will be used to show policy and decision makers the key roads for further resilience investment. This will help improve the economic performance of travel and trade in the region.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract used by permission of Association for European Transport. Alternative title: Transport Network Vulnerability and Resilience in Western Balkans
  • Corporate Authors:

    Association for European Transport (AET)

    1 Vernon Mews, Vernon Street, West Kensington
    London W14 0RL,    
  • Authors:
    • Crouse, Monika
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2020


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9p
  • Monograph Title: European Transport Conference 2020

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01766010
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 19 2021 2:48PM