Typifing the resilience of the “urban territory – critical infrastructure” pair based on a mixed data analysis as applied to the Nantes ring road

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Name of the project : Typifing the resilience of the “urban territory – critical infrastructure” pair based on a mixed data analysis as applied to the Nantes ring road

Type of project : PhD

Type of contract : ANR


Nowadays, the critical infrastructures and systems that surround us play a key role in the functioning of spatial systems and urban systems in particular. These critical infrastructures are the focus of research on urban resilience, notably due to urban functions’ great dependence on electricity, transportation, water and gas production and distribution systems. While research on the propagation of failures in critical infrastructure (CI) and on interdependencies exists, it is generally limited due to low data availability, the difficulty of describing and qualifying existing data, and of identifying the different needs of the actors involved (users, residents, operators, etc.).

The thesis looks at critical infrastructure and on the Nantes ring road more specifically. While research on CI tends to focus on quantitative and technical assessment to improve the efficiency of road systems, analytical support for social and human data that improves resilience is still scarce.

The thesis aims to characterize resilience based on this data and will be have a strong methodological dimension for the purposes of reproducibility. The development of a coherent, exploitable database to evaluate resilience in a continuous way must be done in connection with thinking on prioritization and organization methods as well as with methods for evaluating the resilience of critical infrastructures. For this, the thesis will propose rules of interpretation based on quantitative and/or qualitative elements that allow this data to be used for evaluating the resilience of critical infrastructure and simultaneously that of a territory relative to its needs and service capacity provided by a critical infrastructure in real time.

A macroscopic approach to typify critical infrastructure and their territory of operation will be done to identify the types of characteristic data potentially useful to this evaluation. The thesis work will focus in particular on the critical infrastructure of the Nantes ring road, on providing a typology of data, analyzing existing interpretation mechanisms and proposing adjustments oriented towards assessing the resilience of a road transportation network within its urban environment in an ongoing way.

Name of supervisor(s) : Bruno Barroca (UGE/Lab'Urba) ; Valérie November (CNRS/LATTS)

Name of student(s): Zhang Zhuyu

Start and end of the project : 1 November 2019 - 1 November 2022

Duration : 3 ans

Financement complémentaire : ANR