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Technical networks as instruments of sustainable flow management : a comparative analysis of infrastructure policy and planning in European urban regions

Objective

To examine the way technical networks are managed and how changes in their management could contribute to achieving greater sustainability in European urban regions. By comparing utility services for energy, water, sewage and solid waste in selected regions, and by focusing on drinking water and sewage management in different urban settings, the project aims to identify factors which assist or inhibit the implementation of more sustainable practices.


OBJECTIVES :

To examine the way technical networks are managed and how changes in their management could contribute to achieving greater sustainability in European urban regions. By comparing utility services for energy, water, sewage and solid waste in selected regions, and by focusing on drinking water and sewage management in different urban settings, the project aims to identify factors which assist or inhibit the implementation of more sustainable practices.

DESCRIPTION :

The research project focuses on four key issues :

i) the changing context of utility services; in particular how growing demands for environmental sustainability, economic efficiency, social equity and public participation are currently met by conventional forms of infrastructure management;
ii) the underlying assumptions and overall "logics" driving infrastructure management. Through the analysis of institutional structures, legal responsibilities and the processes of planning, decision-making and implementation the research determines the forces and logics shaping infrastructure provision;
iii) the contribution of technical networks to sustainable urban and regional development. The research assesses the potential of technical networks as instruments of sustainable flow management;
iv) the transferability of knowledge and experience. Through the comparative study the research draws conclusions on the criteria affecting transnational and transregional knowledge transfer, the applicability of the findings for European urban regions in general and the relevance of both to EU environmental policy.

These issues are explored through comparative studies of utility services in selected regions of Germany, the UK, Denmark and Greece. Detailed analysis is provided of the management of drinking water provision and sewage treatment in selected settlement types within regions of Berlin, Copenhagen and Newcastle upon Tyne. The transferability of the findings made in the urban regions to a Southern European setting will be tested in a survey of a self-contained island community in Greece, linking up with another project carried out by the team on infrastructure provision on Mediterranean islands.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

INSTITUT FUER REGIONALENTWICKLUNG UND STRUKTURPLANUNG E.V.
Address
28-31,Flackenstrasse 28-31
15537 Erkner
Germany

Participants (3)

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Denmark
Address
115,Bygning
2800 Lyngby
Elius - C. Vei Spiropoulou and Associates O.E.
Greece
Address
36,Dragoumi Street
11528 Athens
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom
Address
Claremont Tower
NE2 4AA Newcastle Upon Tyne