Inderscience Publishers

Regional industries as critical infrastructures: a tale of two modern cities

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The research state-of-the-art mentions critical infrastructures (CI) in the same breath as studies about cataclysmic threats, events instantiated by a terrorist or cyber-attack, and/or a natural disaster. This paper suggests that a threat to CI may also result from slowly evolving, gradual, and undetectable events that build up over time. Entire regional industries and their associated networks exhibit punctuated equilibria-type phenomena. Embedded within regional economies and operating as a system-of-system (SoS), regional industries are CI that exhibit gradual evolutionary changes. This paper examines: a) the automotive industry and its impact to the City of Detroit, Michigan; b) the heavy defence/military-contractor industry in the Hampton Roads (Virginia). The paper concludes that a reorientation of CI research to include slow evolving events is necessary with calls for new investment in management, planning, and monitoring approaches that can deal with slow and evolving threat events.

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