Urban Knowledge for Shaping Critical Infrastructure: New Models for City-regions, November 2008 – April 2009
In November 2008 SURF began a new Business Placement with ARUP. The placement is jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and ARUP. The rationale for this placement is threefold. First, cities are under increasing pressures to develop more systemic and long-term, managed transitions in the socio-technical organisation of their infrastructures in response to economic growth, climate change and resource constraint. Second, cities’ capacities and capabilities to effect transitions in their infrastructure tend to be higher with new greenfield developments and in world cities and lower in ordinary cities and regions. Third, there is a need for northern cities and regions to develop their own models of infrastructural management using their own public and private assets. Based on this rationale, the placement will result in an innovative framework being produced that may be utilised by ARUP, policy makers and other organisations. The framework will outline the issues and themes involved in the production of effective infrastructure systems.
The placement is based on collaborative research and is organised in 4 phases:
- Phase 1: Reviewing current approaches and their consequences for practice Working with ARUP staff who are experts on planning, design and urban infrastructure, this phase will build an understanding of whether current strategic approaches to infrastructure planning and management are systemic or piecemeal.
- Phase 2: Developing strategic and systemic knowledge of transitions This phase will involve the identification of relevant knowledge that can develop more systematic and strategic placed-based understanding of infrastructure transitions.
- Phase 3: Case Study Directly building on the above to achieve organisational learning, this phase will involve a case study of a major regeneration scheme in the Manchester City-region. The work comprises planning, design and infrastructural expertise for a new eco-development adjacent to the urban core.
- Phase 4: Tailored infrastructure transitions This phase has a single developmental outcome: a framework that may be translated not only into ARUP, but also taken to policymakers and other companies, that identifies the issues and themes that need to be involved in the production of effective infrastructure systems. This will cover social visions, technological expectations, forms of knowledge, new partnerships and the involvement of stakeholders and publics.
For a copy of the project flyer please click here.