Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Towards resource-efficient and service-oriented integrated infrastructure operation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Phil BlytheORCiD, David Butler



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Infrastructure is a means to an end: it is built, maintained and expanded in order to enable the functioning of society. Present infrastructure operation is characterised by: governance based on unmanaged growing demand which is both inefficient and ultimately unsustainable; lack of integration of the end-users, in terms of the variety of their wants, needs and behaviours; *Manuscript (including abstract and keywords) Click here to view linked References -2- separate and parallel delivery of different infrastructure streams prohibiting joint solutions. To achieve long-term sustainability infrastructure needs to be designed and operated to provide essential service delivery at radically decreased levels of resource use. This new approach will need to: (1) incorporate the end-user, in terms of their wants and behaviours; (2) focus on the service provided; (3) use information and communication technologies more effectively; (4) integrate the operation of different infrastructure systems; (5) be governed in a manner that recognises the complexity and interconnectedness of infrastructure systems; and (6) rethink current infrastructure valuation. Possible configurations incorporating these aspects with the explicit goal of contributing to long term sustainability could be Multi Utility Service Companies or “MUSCos”. This article presents new insights and ideas generated by considering the challenge of the transition towards a MUSCo infrastructure.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Roelich K, Knoeri K, Steinberger JK, Varga L, Blythe PT, Butler D, Gupta R, Harrison G, Martin C, Purnell P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Year: 2015

Volume: 92

Pages: 40-54

Print publication date: 01/03/2015

Online publication date: 09/12/2014

Acceptance date: 14/11/2014

Date deposited: 06/01/2015

ISSN (print): 0040-1625

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5509

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2014.11.008


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name