Integrating equity objectives in a road network design model

Bruno Santos*, António Antunes, Eric J. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The traditional approach to the road network design problem focuses on the optimization of network efficiency under a given budget. Generally, this leads to the improvement of roads next to the largest population centers, where travel demand is higher. Such results are not consistent with sustainable development principles, since the dissimilarities between the welfare of large and small centers will tend to increase. Nevertheless, equity issues were rarely taken into account in road network design. Moreover, all existing studies rely on a single equity measure. In this paper equity concerns in transportation planning are reviewed briefly, and a comparison of alternative equity measures is presented. Three equity measures were selected and incorporated into an accessibilitymaximization road network design model. The three equity measures reflect different perspectives on equity: accessibility to low-accessibility centers, the dispersion of accessibility values across all centers (Gini coefficient), and the dispersion of accessibility values across all centers and across centers in the same region (Theil index). The implications of adopting each of these equity measures are illustrated through application of the optimization model to three random networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2089
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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