Who we are
The network was established in 2015 to consider the potential role of integrated infrastructure in providing enhanced efficiency, resilience and adaptability for cities in the context of the increasing risk of climate change related hazards, such as severe flooding or storm damage.
In the broadest sense, integrated infrastructure systems might cater for physical resource demands alongside the increasing appetite for technology, whilst simultaneously addressing the decarbonisation and financial austerity agendas. The effects of climate change are occurring now. Our city systems need to rapidly adapt and the scale of the challenge is grand. Climate change impacts concern all cities, from Auckland to Zhuhai, although these effects are likely to be geographically and socially uneven. One solution that has been suggested to the uncertain impact of climate change on urban life is the integration of critical urban infrastructures and city systems. As such, integrated infrastructures are thought to provide enhanced efficiency, resilience and adaptability. However, work concerning their resilience to climate change induced systemic shocks is scarce. We need to understand the strengths and vulnerabilities afforded by such integration to provide an evidence base for future infrastructure design and investment strategies.
What do we do?
The network concerns the potential integration of the three infrastructures that arguably have the greatest impact on the layout and structure of our cities: water, energy and transport. There is an increasing recognition that the significant interplay between infrastructure, society and environment means that infrastructural solutions to climate change impacts cannot be found in isolation. Therefore, infrastructural integration will be considered from the political, social, economic, environmental and engineering nexus.
This will be achieved using a combination of social science research, scientific data collection and analysis, and engineering based operations research and systems simulation. By the end of 2015 we expect to have prepared chapters for a book edited by the core team, developed ideas for joint research papers, and submitted national and international research proposals.
The IIN is an international collaboration of diverse researchers and practitioners that has received catalytic funding from the World Universities Network. The IIN aims to harness our shared expertise to help understand the potential strengths and vulnerabilities of integrated infrastructure.