A New Subway Line for Odessa: My war-time collaboration with Tufts University

By Prof. Hennadii Haiko

Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Ukraine

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When applying for a cooperation project within the framework of the Tufts University Scholars at Risk (SAR) program (Non-residential fellowships), I was not personally acquainted with any scientist at Tufts University (I only knew my colleagues from publications related to my research). After sending a letter to the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning of Tufts University, I received a reply that Prof. Justin B. Hollander is willing to be a partner in such a collaboration, as the area of his scientific interests is close to the questions of my research proposal. In the process of correspondence, we improved and specified the research plan, Prof. Hollander contacted the SAR program office and helped me navigate the materials and application process. After receiving a positive decision regarding the allocation of the grant, we organized a meeting on Zoom where we discussed in detail the research tasks, methods, and terms of their implementation, as well as our correspondence throughout the project. We discussed the choice of a city in Ukraine, for which the planning decisions of possible infrastructure projects will be analyzed. My initial thought was Kyiv, but Prof. Hollander suggested choosing not the capital, but one of the other important cities in Ukraine, which was significantly affected by the war. After discussing promising options, we chose Odessa.

Prof. Hollander shared a number of useful resources and articles to help me. These together with  further correspondence, helped to form new criteria of a morphological model, which focused not only on the current state of the city infrastructure, but also on forecast predictions of its development and the needs of the city in the medium and long term. Each stage of research was creatively “discussed” in correspondence. Prof. Hollander was directly involved in the expert evaluation of the considered objects.

Our joint work was devoted to the planning of prospective lines of the Odessa metro, which is considered a priority infrastructure project for the post-war reconstruction of the city of Odessa. Based on the assumption that only one subway line (north-south) will be built in the medium term, two alternative options for the possible alignment of the southern part of this line, including the territory of the terminal stations, were analyzed. The method of morphological analysis, modified by the authors, was used for the research. This was the basis of a complex toolkit for building scenario alternatives based on an interactive human-computer procedure. 

A map of a city

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Alternative potential metro line routes and end stations in Odesa

The following influencing factors were analyzed: Urban environment type; Population density; Arterial network density; Tourist (vacationer) mobility; Pendular movement of workers (to work and home); Public transport accessibility; Alternative types of public transport; Average traffic speed; City building potential of the territory; Presence of civil defense facilities (underground shelters). The morphological model was based on the following evaluation criteria: Influence on the traffic problem; Favoring the city building potential; Favoring the recreational development; Minimization of ecological problems; Civil defense. The model provides an tool for shaping efficient management decisions based on systemic principles to the municipal and state authorities, the concerned public organizations and investors. Based on the results of the work, a joint scientific article “Priority Ranking of Alternative Odesa Metro Plan Variants Using Modified Morphological Analysis Method” was prepared and published.


Impact coefficient for both locations on each of the factors

The idea of the SAR program is not only to help scientists in the war zone, but also to establish creative connections that have prospects for further development. I look forward to the possibility that the system methodology of urban infrastructure planning developed in cooperation will be embodied in new joint projects.  Prof. Hollander and I have now written up the results of the research and are submitting it to an academic journal for publication.  We have also submitted an application for funding Ukraine-U.S. research projects and hope to expand this work in Odessa and beyond.

Hennadii Haiko

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