Keywords: research agenda, critical infrastructures, engineering systems, system design, planning, management, next generation infrastructures, integration
Research agenda for an integrated approach to infrastructure planning, design and management
Building on broad discussions between many universities, this paper presents a research agenda based on a holistic, comprehensive view of the issues. It proposes that our infrastructure is a system of systems involving different technical manifestations and social organisations. The implication is that we need a fundamental reconsideration of how we look at system design, away from traditional disciplinary considerations and toward a multi-domain, multi-disciplinary effort. To this end, it proposes an agenda of: comparative analyses across infrastructures and political structures, that would identify commonalities and larger lessons; creation of integrated socio-technical models that usefully describe the interactions between the technical infrastructure and its social context; methodological efforts, aimed largely at capturing the network characteristics, both technical and social, of the infrastructure system of systems; explicit testing and evaluation of the research through programs of collaboration with practitioners and governmental organisations.