The Multiscale Importance of Road Segments in a Network Disruption Scenario: A Risk-Based Approach

Susana Freiria, Alexandre O. Tavares, Rui Pedro Sousa Pereira Monteiro Julião

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This article addresses the problem of the multiscale importance of road networks, with the aim of helping to establish a more resilient network in the event of a road disruption scenario. A new model for identifying the most important roads is described and applied on a local and regional scale. The work presented here represents a step forward, since it focuses on the interaction between identifying the most important roads in a network that connect people and health services, the specificity of the natural hazards that threaten the normal functioning of the network, and an assessment of the consequences of three real-world interruptions from a multiscale perspective. The case studies concern three different past events: road interruptions due to a flood, a forest fire, and a mass movement. On the basis of the results obtained, it is possible to establish the roads for which risk management should be a priority. The multiscale perspective shows that in a road interruption the regional system may have the capacity to reorganize itself, although the interruption may have consequences for local dynamics. Coordination between local and regional scales is therefore important. The model proposed here allows for the scaling of emergency response facilities and human and physical resources. It represents an innovative approach to defining priorities, not only in the prevention phase but also in terms of the response to natural disasters, such as awareness of the consequences of road disruption for the rescue services sent out to local communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-500
Number of pages17
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Critical infrastructure
  • interruption scenario
  • multiscale analysis
  • natural hazard
  • road network connectivity


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