A genuine and co-ordinated global infrastructure research program

The International Symposia for Next Generation Infrastructure is an initiative of the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong, University College London (UK), University of Oxford (UK), Virginia Tech (US) and Delft University of Technology (NLD). The objective of the ISNGI symposia series is to commence a co-ordinated global infrastructure research program about long term infrastructure and land use planning and to ensure the best and sharpest minds from industry, government and academia work together to create not only best practice benchmarks but new knowledge to better inform strategies for long term prosperity.

We seek to establish international and interdisciplinary research collaborations that are designed to enable exploration of the development of Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) in the context of understanding the interactions between infrastructure, the population it serves, technology and sustainability both now and into the future.

ISNGI 2017 is the fifth in the series of symposia on Next Generation Infrastructure, and is also serving as the formal launch of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC), a major UK research programme.

UKCRIC aims to address the insufficient and unsustainable value extracted by services using national infrastructure. UKCRIC is creating and operating a national and international multidisciplinary research programme that addresses the issues of unaffordable and unsustainable infrastructure development, in a partnership between Industry, Government and Academia.

More information on UKCRIC can be found at www.ukcric.com.


International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure 2017

As a society, we expect infrastructure systems to foster long-term and sustainable economic growth across all regions; improve the UK’s international competitiveness; and improve the quality of life of current and future generations. If we are to come close to achieving these long-term objectives, we need to develop effective approaches to address system-wide problems. ISNGI 2017 aims to tackle these issues through a range of contributions from leading academics, industry leaders and government representatives.

Next generation infrastructure (NGI) systems need to be conceived, designed and created, operated, maintained, regulated and governed with sustainability and resilience to system problems as core objectives. Furthermore, a similar approach is needed for the management and maintenance of existing infrastructure systems, which provide the context from which the NGI needs to grow; i.e., we need to develop and complement and/or progressively replace our existing infrastructure systems.

NGI needs to be adaptable to changing context and needs, which in turn means that it must be smart: monitored using appropriate sensing technologies to assess performance (and maintenance needs), and reactive to this monitoring in its operation.  Moreover, it needs to both serve and connect cities of the future, and therefore satisfy the needs of citizens, societies and economies of the far future.  This requires an understanding of citizens, societies and cities of the future – how people will live, work and spend their leisure time.

Moving towards an outcome-focused model for NGI requires a full appreciation of the value that is realised by our infrastructure systems, and this enables the formation of alternative business models for innovation-led infrastructure system delivery at a range of scales from local through national to global systems.

ISNGI aims to address some of the above arguments, including some of the following questions and issues for the infrastructure communities and all of their stakeholders:

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