Enhancing flood management in road transport system via news media data analytics

Student thesis: PhD Thesis


Road networks are crucial parts of urban infrastructure, enabling the movement of goods, logistics, and people in normal and emergency situations. Inadequate performance of road transport can lead to significant disruptions in urban systems. Road transport systems are particularly vulnerable to surface water flooding, especially in areas with insufficient land surface permeability and drainage systems. Moreover, the frequency and severity of flood events have increased due to climate change and rapid urbanisation, posing significant challenges to flood management in the road transport system.
Scholars and experts recommended prioritising the creation of flexible and adaptable strategies to tackle changing and unpredictable circumstances. The utilisation of digital media data for flood detection and mapping has gained traction and is seen as a valuable asset for improving disaster management. While recent initiatives have emphasised the use of social media for flood management, news media, often viewed as more objective and dependable, remains relatively unexplored in the context of flood management for the road transport system. More in-depth research is needed to advance the utilisation of news media for flood management in the road transport system.
This study proposes a central research question: How can flood management in the road transport system be enhanced via news media data analytics? An integrated framework was developed to address this question, with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) as a case study. The research focused on three phases of flood management: 1) examining news media activities related to floods and transport networks, with an emphasis on preparedness and early warning (Chapter 4); 2) exploring government agency collaboration for flood management in the transport system, particularly in the phase of response and recovery (Chapter 5); and 3) integrating news media analysis and vulnerability assessment to assess potential flood impacts on the road transport system, with a focus on mitigation, risk, and vulnerability modelling (Chapter 6).
This thesis contributes significantly to both academic research and practical applications. It offers new insights into using news media analysis for flood preparedness and early warning (Chapter 4). The study not only extracts information from news media articles but also examines the role of news media itself. Chapter 5 introduces a perspective and method for analysing government agency networks using news media data. Additionally, Chapter 6 enhances flood damage assessment by integrating news media analytics and vulnerability assessment.
In practical terms, the thesis recommends that city authorities manage floods in the road transport system. These recommendations cover various aspects, including road design and planning, government operations, and news media applications. Overall, the research findings will improve the understanding of flood managers and transport managers regarding the role of news media during floods and the development of effective flood management strategies.
Date of AwardJul 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Nottingham
SupervisorHing Kai Chan (Supervisor), Faith Chan (Supervisor) & Wei-Qiang Chen (Supervisor)


  • Road transport system
  • News media data
  • Network analysis
  • Flood management

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