Imagine the Future: Conceptualizing Infrastructure Systems for an Interconnected World.
Infrastructure systems, including roadways, clean and waste water pipelines, power networks, natural gas networks and more, are no longer detached systems that can be designed and operated in isolation. They are interdependent and together form the fabric of society. Along with other elements of our built environment, they provide basic sustenance, protection, support for societal functioning, goods and services. Ensuring a vibrant societal future requires that these systems be resilient, sustainable, and secure and can offer services that improve our well-being.
Technological advancements have created a socio-technological web of infrastructure interwoven with the people who use and interact with it and live within. These advancements have empowered people through the provision of information. They enable collaboration. Thus, these systems, if conceived smartly, can offer more than merely serving our basic needs. They can be reinvented to support and encourage new mechanisms of operation, ownership, service types and their provision, and have the flexibility to allow for the creation of services we might not have anticipated. Let’s imagine a new future. Let’s reinvent how we conceptualize, design, operate and control these systems to take advantage of our newly connected world.