Inderscience Publishers

Disaster and degradation management: relevance of the concept of flexibility

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This paper attempts to present the case that the concept of flexibility is very relevant to the subject of disaster and degradation management in transportation systems. Fundamentally flexibility concepts provide measures of the ability of a system to maintain satisfactory performance when uncontrollable and often unforeseen events (disasters) occur. Thus they provide a basis for planning, design and operation management in a broad sense of systems so that the impact of disasters is minimised. This is argued from a conceptual standpoint, addressing the kinds of issues that disasters create, and the scope of flexibility analysis. Finally, examples of such analyses are given, using the taxonomy of types of system degradation that results from a flexibility perspective.

Keywords: flexibility, disaster management, emergency management, degradation management, capacity, network performance, traffic patterns, redundancy, agility, bottlenecks, system design, operations planning, critical infrastructures, transportation systems, transport networks

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