Funding Organisation: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Project duration: June 2006 to June 2009 (completed)
Contact: Dr. Christoph Schillings, Sonja Simon
Final presentation in Berlin, 16th June 2009
Infrastructures link society, technology and the environment and form the basis for the competitiveness and prosperity of a national economy.
Three types of infrastructure can be distinguished:
This study concentrates on the material infrastructure. In this sense, the term infrastructure describes the basic provision of a national economy (of a country, a region) with installations that can be considered to be part of the capital stock of a national economy, which, however, have the nature of advance performance for the economic activity. Classic examples are the transport networks (road, rail and waterways) as well as supply and disposal systems (energy, water, communications networks), without the existence of which the production of economic goods or performance of services would not be possible or at any rate much less efficiently (economy-related infrastructure).
Along with the demographic change there will be a decline and a change in the demand for infrastructure services. An ageing population will need different services and it will use infra-structures in a different way, both of which put pressure on the system. From the aspect of settlement structure, on the one hand, the spatial relocation of the population is gaining significance and has an impact on the spatial distribution of the infrastructures. At the same time, the rising percentage of older people has an effect on settlement structures, involving new functional demands on towns and communities, e.g. with respect to designing accommodation adapted to the needs of seniors. In the near future, ageing will dramatically increase above all in the suburban area characterized by high mobility rates. The spatial distribution of the apparent demographic development will additionally be deter-mined by technological factors (e.g. information & communication technologies), by political factors as from the European Union (regional policy) and by concentration processes (draining of areas vs. new conurbations). Concepts for sustainable infrastructure provision must be analyzed on the micro-level (regionally differentiated and adapted accordingly) and on the macro-level (nationwide).
The aim of the project is to develop a methodology which allows us to assess infrastructure policies according to the principles and rules of sustainable development and to develop infra-structure strategies. The InfraDem approach will develop and use three core elements: