Towards a Common Language of Infrastructure Interdependency

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Infrastructure systems can exist interdependently with one another either by design, necessity or evolution. There is evidence that interdependencies can be the source of emergent benefits and hazards, and therefore there is value in their identification and management. Achieving this requires collaboration and communication between infrastructure stakeholders across all relevant sectors. Recognising, developing and sharing multiple understandings of infrastructure interdependency and dependency will facilitate a wide range of multi-disciplinary and cross-sectorial work and support productive stakeholder dialogues. This paper therefore aims to initiate discussion around the nature of infrastructure interdependency and dependency in order to establish the basis of a useful, coherent and complete conceptual taxonomy. It sets out an approach for locating this taxonomy and language within a framework of commonplace stakeholder viewpoints. The paper looks at the potential structural arrangements of infrastructure interdependencies before exploring the qualitative ways in which the relationships can be characterised. This builds on the existing body of knowledge as well as experience through case studies in developing an Interdependency Planning and Management Framework for Infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication30 September-1 October 2014 International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schloss Laxenburg, Vienna, Austria
PublisherUniversity College London
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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