Infrastructure in Action

Infrastructures shape how resources flow through the city and influence social disparities. However, infrastructural systems are not fixed and their implications change through political and economic transformation, technological shifts and citizen mobilisation.

The theme examines how infrastructure in cities and
across states, influences movements of resources, people and finance, shaping urban social and ecological (in)equalities.

Research Questions
–    How are infrastructures planned and managed and what does this mean for resource flows, access and urban development?
–    How do people, cities and states influence urban conditions through infrastructuralisation?
–    Can infrastructure in action tackle social divisions through socio-technical innovation, common ownership and solidarity?
–    How can we compare infrastructure in action across diverse scales, processes and contexts?

The team

Director: Jonathan Silver

UI Members: Juan Miguel Kanai | Lindsay Sawyer | Hita Unnikrishnan





Estimated value in billions of global market for smart urban systems by 2020


More than half of the world’s population live in cities, making them key to improving energy efficiency


Number of people who voluntarily wear an electronic tracking device such as a smartphone


Approximately of global GDP is generated in cities