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The Future of National Infrastructure: A System-of-Systems Approach

The Future of National Infrastructure: A System-of-Systems Approach
The Future of National Infrastructure: A System-of-Systems Approach
A system-of-systems approach

In Part I of this volume, we make the case for taking a systems approach for planning national infrastructure. Analysis of infrastructure systems has conventionally dealt with each infrastructure sector – energy, transport, water, waste, digital communications and others – in isolation. Each of these sectors has their own planning approaches and specific ways of making the business case for investment. The development of investment plans has been based on assumptions that have been developed for each sector: of demand from households and industries, and of the hazards to which the systems may be exposed. Even when cross-sectoral interdependencies are significant, for example, in thermoelectric energy generators’ demand for cooling water, these have been dealt with via assumptions based on past experience. These approaches have enabled the development of the elaborate systems that we now witness, which sustain modern societies and economies.

The analysis described in this book is motivated by a hypothesis that the current approaches to planning, design and management of infrastructure systems that have served modern societies well in the past are not fit for purpose as we move into the future. We are already observing increasing convergence of infrastructure services, enabled by technology – information and communications technologies (ICT) in particular. Though it may be convenient to assume so, the demands for infrastructure services are not independent for each infrastructure sector. Ultimately they derive from people and businesses who are demanding multiple infrastructure services in ways that are correlated in space and time and across sectors. By considering infrastructure services in combination rather than in isolation, there are opportunities both to access synergies and to manage the risks of interdependence.

In Part II of this volume, we have considered each infrastructure sector separately, recognising their distinctive characteristics. Energy, transport, water, waste and digital communications are distinctly different systems, making use of specialised technologies that need to be understood if they are to be managed effectively in the future. These chapters have provided an overview of how these systems function and have each used new national infrastructure system models to analyse the prospects for the future under changing patterns of demand. We have explored the range of technological options that might be adopted in the foreseeable future and analysed contrasting strategies for infrastructure provision in these systems.
national infrastructure, system-of-systems approach
978-1-107-06602-1
Cambridge University Press
Hall, Jim W
9ca9f58e-c3a0-40cf-87a7-705413fa4a47
Tran, Martino
d24aac3f-77f0-4aba-b8b1-0c0e1b81e279
Hickford, Adrian J
55d34672-b7bb-47d4-97a6-095304c429de
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Hall, Jim W
9ca9f58e-c3a0-40cf-87a7-705413fa4a47
Tran, Martino
d24aac3f-77f0-4aba-b8b1-0c0e1b81e279
Hickford, Adrian J
55d34672-b7bb-47d4-97a6-095304c429de
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076

Hall, Jim W, Tran, Martino, Hickford, Adrian J and Nicholls, Robert (eds.) (2016) The Future of National Infrastructure: A System-of-Systems Approach , Cambridge, GB. Cambridge University Press, 338pp.

Record type: Book

Abstract

A system-of-systems approach

In Part I of this volume, we make the case for taking a systems approach for planning national infrastructure. Analysis of infrastructure systems has conventionally dealt with each infrastructure sector – energy, transport, water, waste, digital communications and others – in isolation. Each of these sectors has their own planning approaches and specific ways of making the business case for investment. The development of investment plans has been based on assumptions that have been developed for each sector: of demand from households and industries, and of the hazards to which the systems may be exposed. Even when cross-sectoral interdependencies are significant, for example, in thermoelectric energy generators’ demand for cooling water, these have been dealt with via assumptions based on past experience. These approaches have enabled the development of the elaborate systems that we now witness, which sustain modern societies and economies.

The analysis described in this book is motivated by a hypothesis that the current approaches to planning, design and management of infrastructure systems that have served modern societies well in the past are not fit for purpose as we move into the future. We are already observing increasing convergence of infrastructure services, enabled by technology – information and communications technologies (ICT) in particular. Though it may be convenient to assume so, the demands for infrastructure services are not independent for each infrastructure sector. Ultimately they derive from people and businesses who are demanding multiple infrastructure services in ways that are correlated in space and time and across sectors. By considering infrastructure services in combination rather than in isolation, there are opportunities both to access synergies and to manage the risks of interdependence.

In Part II of this volume, we have considered each infrastructure sector separately, recognising their distinctive characteristics. Energy, transport, water, waste and digital communications are distinctly different systems, making use of specialised technologies that need to be understood if they are to be managed effectively in the future. These chapters have provided an overview of how these systems function and have each used new national infrastructure system models to analyse the prospects for the future under changing patterns of demand. We have explored the range of technological options that might be adopted in the foreseeable future and analysed contrasting strategies for infrastructure provision in these systems.

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More information

Published date: February 2016
Keywords: national infrastructure, system-of-systems approach
Organisations: Civil Maritime & Env. Eng & Sci Unit, Transportation Group, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388149
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388149
ISBN: 978-1-107-06602-1
PURE UUID: fd7aa484-6d48-47f8-95ad-b4a7afbd2a98
ORCID for Adrian J Hickford: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6414-9064
ORCID for Robert Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Feb 2016 15:28
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:59

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