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Infrastructure and cities

Infrastructure and cities are intricately interdependent. Cities are major nodes in multiple infrastructure networks. Hence, the geographical location of cities largely dictates the topology of infrastructure networks. In cities, different infrastructure sectors compete for space. Infrastructure maintenance and construction projects affect the residents of the city in many ways and the physical proximity of different types of infrastructure in cities adds to the risk of cascading failure across infrastructure sectors if one infrastructure breaks down. Timely adaptation of infrastructure to economic and demographic developments e.g., in terms of capacity expansion, is more challenging in a densely populated urban environment than in rural areas. However, also on a deeper cultural level infrastructure and cities are strongly interrelated. Cultural norms and traditions are at play in the way infrastructure and infrastructure services are perceived and used. Infrastructure legacy and iconic infrastructure projects lend a distinctive character to cities and contribute to a sense of place. More and more, municipal governments see infrastructure as a means to secure their cities’ attractiveness for business activity and to improve the livability of the city for its residents. Infrastructure is becoming a major component of city branding strategies.