Social Implications of Infrastructure Network Interactions

Zimmerman, R.
Journal of Urban Technology, Vol. 8, No. 3 (December 2001), pp. 97-119. Also published in Flux Cahiers scientifiques internationaux Reseaux et Territoires (International Scientific Quarterly on Networks and Territories), Number 47, Janvier-Mars

Urbanized and soon-to-be urbanizing areas are increasingly dependent upon infrastructure transmission and distribution networks for the provision of essential public resources and services for transportation, energy, communications, water supply, and wastewater collection and treatment. In large part, the increasing spread of population settlements at the periphery of cities and the increasing density and vertical integration of urban cores have increased reliance upon the connectivity that these networks provide. These infrastructure networks are, in turn, dependent upon one another, both functionally and spatially, in very complex ways, and that interdependence is increased as new capacity-enhancing infrastructure technologies are developed. The extent of these dependencies appears to be escalating, and that results in interactions among the systems and produces effects upon environments that are difficult to predict.

Wagner Faculty