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HENG Salpiseth, PhD Research Proposal

April 17, 2012

RESEARCH PROPOSAL I. Background and Motivation Every country in the world is now suffering from the problems of climate irregularities. Similar to other countries in the region, climate change is real and happening in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS), and its impacts are unavoidable. Currently, GMS countries seek economic development, and foster construction of roads, bridges, hydroelectric stations, industrial complexes, urban development, and natural resource exploration throughout their country. The depth and diversity of the physical infrastructure influences not only the pattern of growth, but lack of it prevents access to health and education, trade liberalization and particularly regional intergration and connectivity. However, sustainable infrastructure development, one of the most important development policy issues for the Green Mekong, is now challenging with the effects of climate change. Disasters that result from and/or can be made worse by climate change can undermine decades of growth through a single catastrophic event. For instance, the serious disasters such as flood in 2011 in some GMS countries have caused a very serious impact to its economic growth. Essential transport infrastructure which is one of the factors that makes an important contribution to the socio-economic development of the region, have been severely damaged. The flooding has brought freight along the main economic corridor to halt. Facing such serious threat of natural disasters, both the adaptation and mitigation measures are required for the growth prospect of the region. I have strong interest in exploring how to ensure climate-resilient transport system in the region through adaptation of appropriate actions. Adaptation approach is recognized as an urgent and important complement to climate mitigation. Adjusting to address ongoing and future climate change will help to reduce the severity of climate change impacts as well as to strengthen resilience and maintaining business continuity. The new research study would seek effective proactive steps to assess vulnerability of the urban transport system to climate variations and provide guidance on how adaptation issues can be considered in the transportation investment decision – making for achieving a sustainable transport system in the region. II. Details of Proposed Research a. Research Topic - Field of Study: Adaptation Actions in the Urban Transport System in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) - Tentative Research Title: Planning for Climate - resilient Urban Transport Network in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region: A Case Study of Cambodia’s Road Network. b. Research Scope Impacts of Climate Change and challenges to climate adaptation in the urban transport system with identification of Climate Forcing and Types of Stress will be comprehensively reviewed. Vulnerability of the urban transport system to a set of climate scenarios of greatest relevance and at-risk geographic areas per climate scenarios are to be defined on hazard maps. In addition to the assessment of vulnerability of modes, impact on operations or demand and prioritize modes, the study will cover the exploration on how adaptation issues might be considered in urban transport system planning, project development, operations and maintenance. The study is going to deal with the following questions:

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HENG Salpiseth, PhD Research Proposal

April 17, 2012

1. What are the potential risks of climate change posed on the existing urban transport system? 2. What are the feasible adaptation options for each mode of urban transport system? 3. What are the economic consequences and cost-benefit tradeoffs of action versus inaction? 4. How to incorporate most feasible adaptive options into system planning to achieve a better Business Continuity Plan However, considering the limitation of study period, the study will focus mainly on the road network whereas the other modes of urban transport system will be recommended for future study. The study will particularly stress on optimizing the most feasible options in the resilient road network planning considering a better Business Continuity Plan in the process. The impacts of climate change on road network in Cambodia will be examined as a case study in this research. c. Research Objectives The research objectives are: - to explore what and how adaptation actions should be considered in urban transport system planning, project development, operations and maintenance and what are the variables and technical requirements to support feasible and effective risk management responses in Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) - to establish a versatile model optimizing the most appropriate adaptation actions for a resilient urban transport system in the Greater Mekong Sub-region Adaptation measures are needed both to resist disruption and to recover rapidly afterwards. Therefore, these responses need to foster the resilience of the urban transport system through strengthening of the robustness of the system and the rapidity of recovery after experiencing with extreme climate events. The study would serve as a resource for professionals involved in transportation decision-making processes. d. Significance and Innovation The innovation and merits of the study are: - The formulated optimization model that this research will develop aims to provide decision makers with useful information on the feasible investment in climate adaptation actions in planning for a resilient urban transport system. - Predicted risks and possible diaster Hazard Maps as well as appropriate adaptation options are to be identified for the transport network in the studied Mekong Region. - A real Cambodian road transport network, which is part of the Asian/ASEAN Highway No.1 and GMS southern economic corridor connecting Bangkok–Phnom Penh–Hochiminh, is to be tested with the studied model. What is more, the study would contribute to decision making on how to incorporate disaster (risk) management issues in the transport and logistic sectors in order to improve quality of life and maintain economic growth. For instance, year 2011 was considered a special one for Japan’s and some ASEAN countries’s disaster history. During the Recent ASEAN-Japan Adhoc Expert Meeting for Cooperation on Disaster Prevention in the Transport Sector in March 2012, each ASEAN Country member state and Japan shared lessons learned from the past natural disasters and their experience and prepareness for disaster response, particularly on the implications of disasters for transport infrastructures. Business Continuity Plan (BCP) for the Transport Sector is one of the major discussion topics. It is recognized that risk management against natural disasters should be introduced Page 2 of 5


HENG Salpiseth, PhD Research Proposal

April 17, 2012

further into the transport operation and well preparedness was necessary for mitigation of damaged occurred by disaster. e. Methodology Below is methodology for the proposed research study. Summary of the framework of the research study: Framework of the Research Study 1. Impacts of Climate Change in General, GMS and Cambodian Context: Comprehensive review on the impacts of Climate Change and challenges to climate adaptation with identification of Climate Forcing and Types of Stress. 2. Urban Transport System and Climate Impacts: - Explain the relationship between climate forces and urban transport system. - Assess the vulnerability of the urban transport system to a set of climate scenarios of greatest relevance - Define at-risk geographic areas per climate scenarios - Assess vulnerability of modes, impact on operations or demand and prioritize modes by high strategic value - Explore how adaptation issues might be considered in urban transport system planning, project development, operations and maintenance. - What are the parameters and technical requirements to support feasible and effective risk management responses? 3. Road Network and Climate Adaptation: - Define vulnerability map of existing road network with assessment of sensitivity by facility, section or function - Define potential adaptive options to enhance the resilience of the network - Perform cost benefit analysis of adaptive responses with optimization of cost of countermeasures. What are economic consequences and cost-benefit trade offs of action vs. inaction? - Define sources of funding Incorporate most feasible options into system planning

Literature Review (Jan – Jun 2013): In the first part of the study, an extensive desk review on the understanding of the impacts of climate change and challenges to climate adaptation will be carried out. The comprehensive review will be implemented on the GMS, particularly Cambodia. Analysis on the climate change effects on the transport sector and assessment of adaptation measures will be described. The study will be started with the literature review of existing secondary data. Both published and unpublished materials material will be reviewed to Page 3 of 5


HENG Salpiseth, PhD Research Proposal

April 17, 2012

identify the relevant effects of climate change and the responses to the climate impact in the urban transport system. Journals, books, and other relevant international and national publications including the documents published by the Mekong River Committee (MRC), central government, local governments, universities, research institutes, private agencies as well as the documents from the Informal Donor Meetings on Climate Change in Cambodia, will be examined throughout the study. The review will include the analysis on the consideration of climate change effects on urban transport system in the current government’s policy and legislation. ASEAN agreements on disaster management and response exercises will be also studied. Questionnaire Design (May – Jun 2013), Field Survey and Interview (Sep – Oct 2013): The study will be complimented with designed questionnaires addressing to key stakeholders in the sectors of Climate Change and Transport. The stakeholder questionnaires are designed for selected urban transport network operators, central and local government authorities in Cambodia and GMS countries, donor community, and research institutions. The inquiry will be made on their research needs, adaptation responses and perceived barriers to how urban transport system are planned, designed, operated and maintained to address the effects of climate change. In the later part of the study, a qualitative survey will be done throughout the research with interviewing of key Cambodian government officials and donor representatives in Cambodia and the region (such as members of the Infrastructure and Regional Integration Technical Working Group, members of the Informal Donor Meeting on Climate Change, and members of the ASEAN land transport working group) on the perceptions of climate change effects on the urban transport system as well as their planned responses to cope with the future risks. The relevant responses from the interviewed recipients will be also taken into account to discuss on how projected climate impacts, climate variability, mitigations, and adaptation strategies need to be considered in transportation investment decisions. Existing Data collection and Processing (Jan – Dec 2013): Many existing up-to-date Cambodia’s data such as master plans and inventory of transport system including maps of road network, rail network, port and airport, population and economic census, socio-economic database, climate-related disaster historical data, master plan of energy sector including hydropower master plan, rainfall data, hydrological data, groundwater data, irrigation data …etc have been extensively collected and regularly updated. These data are to be also updated during the study period. Recent detail data and survey report of impact of flood 2011 on road transport infrastructure in Cambodia are also available for the research model testing. Risk analysis on urban transport system (Jan – March 2014): First, climate forcing and corresponding types of stress will be identified. Using GIS maps, at-risk geographic areas per climate scenarios will be analysed. A risk matrix approach to analyse the climate change effects and their relevant risks to all modes of the urban transport system will be used. Identification and prioritization of risks to each mode will be made. Using findings from the risk assessment, an analysis of key climate variables with potential for impacting design or operation will be made for each mode of the urban transport system. Assessment of vulnerability and hazard maps of road transport (April – June 2014): Spatial GIS mapped data of road transport networks will be used identify the transport assets currently affected by weather conditions. Vulnerability map of existing road network with assessment of sensitivity by facility, section or function will be defined. Page 4 of 5


HENG Salpiseth, PhD Research Proposal

April 17, 2012

Model formulation and evaluation of adaptation actions through model validation on real road transport network (Jan– Dec 2014): Adaptive options based on the literature review above and analysis above will be prioritized using economic cost-benefit analysis of adaptive responses with defining tradeoffs, and select alternative course of action. A complex mathematics model for optimizing cost of countermeasures on the road network under different durations and magnitudes of incident scenarios will be proposed in order to plan and provide more resilient road network. The model is to be developed with consideration of the recovery at early stage through resilient road transport system for better Business Continuity Plan. The objective functions will include: 1. Minimize (Total Cost = Recovery cost + Investment in Adaptation Actions) 2. Maximize (Level of Continuing Transport Business after the disaster occured) Define sources of funding, disscussion, recommendation and conclusion (Jan – June 2015): It is important to find ways to avoid compromising short-term system efficiency and mobility objectives over long term adaptation projects such as increased costs of maintenance, retrofitting, redesign, rebuilding, or relocation. Responses from the interview above will be discussed on possible source of funding the climate adaptation. Finally, the study will discuss how to incorporate most feasible adaptation actions into the planning of urban transport system throughout sensivity analysis. Revision and thesis writting (Jul - Dec 2015) The research study is expected to produce academic papers to be published in local and International Journals, and to be presented in relevant conferences. The publication of the result of the study would contribution to the research in this field whereas many feedbacks is expected to acquired for further improvement of the study for final thesis writting. f. Expected Outcomes The expected outcomes of the proposed study are: 1.

Contribution to urban transport system planning in the region This research study is to contribute promoting resilient and robust transport infrastructure in order to stimulate economic growth of the Greater Mekong Subregion within the context of environmental stewardship.

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Target Conferences o Australian Transport Research Forum (ATRF) 2014, 2015 o Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS) 2015 o World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS) 2015 o Other conferences relevant to Transportation and Climate Change

3.

Target Journals o Emerald journals: International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management o Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment o Transport Policy (Journal of WCTRS) o Journal of EASTS 2015 o Other scientific Journals relevant to Transportation and Climate Change Page 5 of 5

Sample Phd Research Proposal  
Sample Phd Research Proposal  
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