Urban mobility in the post-pandemic: challenges and possibilities from a systematic review

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Detroit (2022)


Sustainability; Mobility; Autonomous Vehicles; Mobility as a service (MaaS).


The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted urban mobility worldwide. Studies from the onset of the pandemic to date have sought to understand the urban mobility challenges and possibilities that are being engendered. Although the pandemic has not yet ended, there is already a significant number of published studies. The objective of this paper was to describe, from a systematic review, the challenges and possibilities of urban mobility in the post-pandemic context. The data for the study were collected from the Web of Science database. The following organization was used: search for the word "urban mobility" in conjunction with any of the following expressions: "post-pandemic", "pandemic", "Covid-19", "post-Covid", "coronavirus", or "SARS-CoV-2". From this, 81 articles were selected. The analyses were performed in two steps. The first (stage 1) was focused on the systematic review from the description of the results and use of VOSviewer, software for building and visualizing bibliometric networks (Van Eck & Waltman, 2010). In part (stage 2) we explored the articles to identify the challenges and possibilities of urban mobility in the present context. As a result of step 1 we identified the three articles with the highest number of citations: "Effects of the Covid-19 lockdown on urban mobility: empirical evidence from the city of Santander (Spain)" (124 citations), "The Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the resilience of sustainable mobility in Sicily" (58 citations) and "Assessing the Impact of Covid-19 on bike-sharing usage: the case of Thessaloniki, Greece" (39 citations). In the Web of Science categories were Environmental Sciences (33 articles), Green Sustainable Science Technology (25), Environmental Studies (23), Transportation (13), and Urban Studies (9). Regarding journals, the five with the most articles in the sample were: Sustainability (22 articles), Transport Policy (2), TeMA. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment (5), Energies (3) and Case Studies on Transport Policy (2). Thus, the predominance of studies is focused on the area of sustainability. In second place appears themes more related to the issue of transport policies. From the analysis of the keywords, four clusters were identified (step 2): (a) resilience, (b) air pollution, (c) travel behavior, and (d) accessibility. The Resilience cluster is characterized by research showing that the States have implemented a series of actions aimed at requalifying and readapting the mobility structure. This is as a result of the fact of anxiety and stress due to the fear of contagion but also the negative effects on the economy that led to Covid-19. These feelings were aggravated due to the use of public transportation and overcrowding of vehicles resulting in issues related to vehicle cleanliness and sanitation. In this context, different forms of mobility take on different values and roles, with driving actions related to mobility and smart cities (Campisi, Basbas, Skoufas, Akgün, Ticali & Tesoriere, 2020). Another category formed from the network of core themes is Air Pollution in urban contexts. Studies highlight that emissions of vehicular traffic have dropped due to the current pandemic (Adziel, Campisi, Jaworski, Kuszewski & Wo, 2021). Research surrounds the cluster of investments for new road works and interventions that can be implemented in the medium and long term and that can provide the incentive to reduce or maintain the level of emissions for sustainable mobility. Another cluster is related to changes in Travel Behavior after Covid 19. The papers highlight anxiety, stress, and point out some of the effective measures to improve the quality of life and effectiveness of transportation for people. For Jiao and Azimian (2021) these measures include increasing the frequency of bus services for busy routes, restricting the number of available seats, and developing an online ticket booking app to reduce crowding of passengers on buses and transit stations and overall exposure risk. As a short-term solution and support for low-income families free transportation services in neighborhoods with a high proportion of low-income residents are also recommended. And finally, the Accessibility cluster, with research related to the inclusion of elderly and disabled people, and the insertion of low-income people with favored transportation sharing and bike-sharing. The paper presents policy implications that include actions that can protect the health of individuals by improving the accessibility of the mobility system. It presents managerial implications and highlights for the automotive industry and some effective measures that include increasing the frequency of bus services for busy routes and developing online ticket booking applications to reduce crowding of passengers on buses and transit stations and overall exposure risk.



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