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Sinziana Rasca

Assistant Professor

PhD Research Fellow

H4025 ( Jon Lilletuns vei 9, Grimstad )

Sinziana is a PhD Research Fellow in the Engineering Sciences department at the University of Agder, studying aspects of mobility optimization and sustainable development in Norwegian small and medium sized cities. With a master in Energy-efficient and Environmental Building Design (Lund University) and one in Architecture (University of Oradea), complemented by a diverse and international career path, Sinziana approaches her research within sustainable urban planning with a practical perspective and the advantage of multiple view-angles. She chose to study the aspect of urban mobility as it is a field where breakthroughs are the word of the day and the coming years will bring about major changes due to recent technological development, such as automated-vehicles. 

Sinziana is a member of ENTERS- the research group working on circular economy at the University of Agder. 

Research interests

Optimization of public transport networks 

Mobility as a Service

Big Data in urban mobility planning and optimiziation

Sustainable development of urban mobility in small and medium sized cities

Circular Economy

Academic interests

Transport planning 

Mobility optimization

Sustainability assessment frameworks for cities

Circular economy


Current PhD research project: Reaching GHG emission targets through mobility optimization in low density urban areas- a study of coastal Small and Medium-sized Cities in Norway

Achieving a national net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission level by 2050 to meet the Paris Agreement (PA) climate goals seems yet to be an unachievable goal rather than a reality. With cities having an estimated contribution of 70% to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and non-freight urban transport producing approximately 15% of these emissions, this is a sector that needs to become a driver of change for the PA goals to be met. The recent years show that “sustainable development of cities” has become a hot topic, with developments in the field of certification programs for cities and even an ISO standard to this purpose. On the other hand, research for sustainable development of cities mainly targets metropolis and large urban settlements. Presently, close to half of the world’s urban dwellers reside in relatively small settlements of less than 500,000 inhabitants (SMCs). As SMCs are confronting with problems such as low-density urbanization, high car usage, limited investment budgets, it is critical to find ways to support their work towards a more sustainable development. For this purpose, research is necessary to identify ways to optimize urban mobility in SMCs. The use of new technologies (simulation programs for network optimization, BIG data, integrated mobility apps, carpooling etc.) and a shift from traditional mobility planning need to be considered in order to achieve the sustainability targets. Certification programs have the potential to support both the planning and the validation of this process, offering a frame of indicators which can be used for setting goals and for measuring the impact certain strategies have on the mobility of an SMC.

Research questions:
Q1: Can indicators used by certification programs for sustainable cities provide valuable data for the monitoring of GHG emissions related to urban mobility in SMCs and how do the indicators used in different programs compare to each-other?
Q2: How to optimize mobility in low density urban areas (SMCs) by identifying new passenger transport strategies through computer simulations?

Due to the diversity of cities around the world, and their differences in development stages and potential, the study will be limited to SMCs on the coast of Agder region in Norway. For the study of mobility optimization and its potential impact, the study will only consider potential of reduction for GHG emissions.

Selected publications

Rasca, Sinziana and Waeben, Jan- Sustainable development of Small and Medium Sized Cities- use of monitoring frameworks in reaching the SDGs (to be presented in the frame of Smart Cities Symposium Prague 2019, May 2019)

General outreach

My research aims to support small and medium sized cites in Norway in:

- working in a systematic way towards improving their sustainability status and creating a knowledge network on sustainability issues through the use of Sustainability Assessment Frameworks

- finding solution to decarbonize their transport through optimizing the mobility offer to their citizens and introducing novel approaches to bring their transport offer closer to a MaaS system. 

Scientific publications

  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana; Saeed, Naima (2022). Exploring the factors influencing the use of public transport by commuters living in networks of small cities and towns. Travel Behaviour & Society. ISSN: 2214-367X. 28s 249 - 263. doi:10.1016/j.tbs.2022.03.007.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana; Major, Jonas (2021). Applicability of Existing Public Transport Sustainability Indicators to Norwegian Small Cities and Towns. 2021 Smart City Symposium Prague (SCSP). ISBN: 9781665415248. IEEE conference proceedings. chapter.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana; Markvica, Karin; Ivanschitz, Bernd Peter (2021). Impacts of COVID-19 and pandemic control measures on public transport ridership in European urban areas–The cases of Vienna, Innsbruck, Oslo,and Agder. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives (TRIP). 10doi:10.1016/j.trip.2021.100376.
  • Abeyrathna, Kuruge Darshana; Rasca, Sinziana Ioana; Markvica, Karin; Granmo, Ole-Christoffer (2021). Public Transport Passenger Count Forecasting in Pandemic Scenarios Using Regression Tsetlin Machine. Case Study of Agder, Norway. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies. ISSN: 2190-3018. 231s 27 - 37. doi:10.1007/978-981-16-2324-0_4.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana (2020). Do International Urban Sustainability Monitoring Frameworks Respond to the Perceived Needs of Norwegian small and mediumsized cities? – Results of a Workshop. IEEE Forum on Integrated and Sustainable Transportation System (FISTS), November 3-5, 2020, Delft - The Netherlands. ISBN: 9781728195032. IEEE. main body of the book. s 315 - 322.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana; Waeben, Jan (2019). Sustainable Development of Small and Medium Sized Cities: Use of Monitoring Frameworks in Reaching the SDGs. 2019 Smart Cities Symposium Prague (SCSP). ISBN: 978-1-7281-0497-3. IEEE conference proceedings. 2019 Smart City Symposium Prague (SCSP) Conference Proceedings.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana (2022). Numerical estimation of travel mode preferences for agents in agent-based simulations.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana; Markvica, Karin (2021). Learning from the past: understanding ridership changes in public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana (2021). Monitoring the Sustainable development of Transport in Norwegian Small and Medium Sized Cities- Results of a Workshop.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana; Dahl, Sandor (2021). Studie viser nå hvordan man kan få et busstilbud med lavere kostnad, sier stipendiat.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana (2020). Do International Urban Sustainability Monitoring Frameworks Respond to the Perceived Needs of Norwegian small and mediumsized cities? – Results of a Workshop.
  • Rasca, Sinziana Ioana (2020). The Small City Public Transport Challenge.

Last changed: 5.04.2019 14:04