Socio-technical infrastructure interdependencies and their implications for urban sustainability; recent insights from the Netherlands

Published: 1 June 2023| Version 6 | DOI: 10.17632/r95hxbfvb8.6
Cem Gürsan, Vincent de Gooyert


Cities are increasingly recognized as potential motors of sustainability transitions. Infrastructure interdependencies have significant implications for both enabling or restricting urban sustainability transitions but their implications remain understudied. We elaborate the role of interdependent infrastructure systems from a socio-technical perspective and explore the recent examples of how socio-technical interdependencies in infrastructure systems can influence urban sustainability efforts. We build on infrastructure interdependency examples in the Netherlands due to its high urbanization rates, dense urban areas, and respective developments in the infrastructure transitions. We distinguish seven socio-technical infrastructure interdependency types that can influence urban sustainability transitions: functional, evolutionary, spatial, life-cycle, policy/procedural, market, and culture/norm interdependencies. We identify and discuss contrasting multi-mode relationships of each interdependency example. Our results offer an interdisciplinary framework and examples of potential influential infrastructure interdependencies to explore, understand, and discuss the implications of infrastructure interdependencies for urban sustainability transitions.


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Radboud Universiteit Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen


Urban Sustainability, Socio-Technical System, Infrastructure


TKI Delta Technologie; Next Generation Infrastructure