Long-term Sustainable Use of Water in Infrastructure Design

  • R. van der BruggeEmail author
  • J. van Eijndhoven
Part of the Intelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering book series (ISCA, volume 42)


The key question addressed in this chapter is: how we can design and use infrastructure sustainably? This means that we do not seek to optimize the current infrastructural systems, but that we deal with the question of the role of infrastructure in long-term societal development and how we can deal with infrastructure in a more sustainable way. In this chapter we take the three-layers approach of Dutch spatial planning as a starting point: underground, infrastructural networks and the occupation layer. We look into the history of the city of Rotterdam in order to generate insight into the co-evolutionary process of these three layers and how periods of transition and lock-in alternate. We contend that sustainable design of infrastructure involves two qualities: first, it integrates the three layers in a good fashion, and, secondly, the design is flexible so it can adapt to changing social and environmental circumstances. We can conclude the following: infrastructure has a dual role. Existing infrastructure can induce lock-in, however, new infrastructures can give an impulse to transition. The infrastructure is not the trigger for transition, but a result of a city vision that directs the design of infrastructure. Infrastructure can thus be used to transform the occupation layer and to continue that purpose it should be flexible as social and environmental conditions change over time.


Network Layer Green Roof Transport Infrastructure Water Infrastructure City Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drift, Dutch Research Institute for TransitionsErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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