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<17 September 2021/>

Societal values and infrastructure governance

Building on the themes of the first two days, day three will focus on infrastructure systems as enablers of outcomes aligned with the values of the societies they serve and, in particular, the role of infrastructure governance in aligning infrastructure-enabled outcomes, societal values and societal priorities.

National Infrastructure is both value generating and value enabling. This value has two components: a direct component related to the sale of infrastructural outputs (e.g., energy, water) and an indirect component related to the economic and societal activities, multipliers and societally-beneficial outcomes it enables. Quality of life, social cohesion, economic prosperity and productivity are all emergent outcomes enabled by National Infrastructure. As such, infrastructure is, potentially, a powerful leverage point to support societal transformation.

National Infrastructure is more than a collection of physical assets. It is a complex interdependent system of physical infrastructure, governance structures, regulatory frameworks, decision-making processes, and interdependencies between assets, within networks, between sectors, and with the dynamic external environment in which it operates[1]. Governance structures, management processes and regulatory frameworks are substantial determinants of infrastructure system goals, rules, structures and dynamics. They determine how national infrastructure is planned, designed, procured, constructed, funded, financed, owned, operated, maintained, accounted for, valued, incentivised, measured, and assessed.

We welcome research contributions or special session proposals related to any of these issues or the following sub-themes.



  • Inclusive cities and infrastructure
  • A societal value perspective on infrastructure
  • Social and economic infrastructure
  • Infrastructure value accounting
  • Measuring infrastructure performance
  • Measuring the societal values expected from infrastructure systems
  • Aligning infrastructure performance and societal value
  • Funding and financing infrastructure
  • Opening-up methods for engagement with infrastructure
  • Accommodating cross-sector initiatives for infrastructure in transition
  • Systemic (whole system) approaches to the governance of complex interdependent infrastructure systems
  • Systemic (whole system) governance for resilient, inclusive and sustainable infrastructure
  • Governance for systemic infrastructure transformation
  • Infrastructure governance for preparedness for disruptive impacts


[1] Dolan p118 in Beckford: The Intelligent Nation