The Info List - Infrastructure

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is the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or other area,[1] including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function.[2] It typically characterises technical structures such as roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications (including Internet connectivity and broadband speeds), and so forth, and can be defined as "the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions."[3] The word infrastructure has been used in English since 1887 and in French since 1875, originally meaning "The installations that form the basis for any operation or system".[4][5] The word was imported from French, where it means subgrade, the native material underneath a constructed pavement or railway. The word is a combination of the Latin
prefix "infra", meaning "below", and "structure". The army use of the term achieved currency in the United States after the formation of NATO
in the 1940s, and by 1970 was adopted by urban planners in its modern civilian sense.[6]


1 Classifications 2 Related concepts 3 Ownership and financing 4 Types

4.1 Engineering and construction 4.2 Civil defense
Civil defense
and economic development 4.3 Military 4.4 Green 4.5 Marxism 4.6 Communications

5 In the developing world

5.1 Regional differences 5.2 Sources of funding

6 See also 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External links

Classifications[edit] A 1987 US National Research Council panel adopted the term "public works infrastructure", referring to:

"... both specific functional modes – highways, streets, roads, and bridges; mass transit; airports and airways; water supply and water resources; wastewater management; solid-waste treatment and disposal; electric power generation and transmission; telecommunications; and hazardous waste management – and the combined system these modal elements comprise. A comprehension of infrastructure spans not only these public works facilities, but also the operating procedures, management practices, and development policies that interact together with societal demand and the physical world to facilitate the transport of people and goods, provision of water for drinking and a variety of other uses, safe disposal of society's waste products, provision of energy where it is needed, and transmission of information within and between communities."[7]

also classifies communications as a part of infrastructure.[8] The American Society of Civil Engineers
issues a US "Infrastructure Report Card" every 2–4 years.[9] As of 2017[update] they grade 16 categories, namely Aviation, Bridges, Dams, Drinking Water, Energy, Hazardous Waste, Inland Waterways, Levees, Parks & Recreation, Ports, Rail, Roads, Schools, Solid Waste, Transit and Wastewater.[9]:4 Hard infrastructure
Hard infrastructure
is the physical networks necessary for the functioning of a modern industrial nation.[citation needed] Soft infrastructure is the institutions which are required to maintain an economy,[10] like health, and cultural and social standards of a country, such as the financial system, the education system, the health care system, the system of government, and law enforcement, as well as emergency services.[5][11] Critical infrastructure
Critical infrastructure
distinguishes those infrastructure elements that, if significantly damaged or destroyed, would cause serious disruption of a system or organization. Storm, flood, or earthquake damage leading to loss of certain transportation routes in a city, for example bridges crossing a river, that would make it impossible for people to evacuate, and for emergency services to operate, would be deemed critical infrastructure. Similarly, an on-line booking system might be critical infrastructure for an airline. These elements of infrastructure are the focus of recovery efforts in the aftermath of natural disasters.[citation needed] Related concepts[edit] The term infrastructure may be confused with the following overlapping or related concepts. Land improvement
Land improvement
and land development are general terms that in some contexts may include infrastructure, but in the context of a discussion of infrastructure would refer only to smaller scale systems or works that are not included in infrastructure, because they are typically limited to a single parcel of land, and are owned and operated by the land owner. For example, an irrigation canal that serves a region or district would be included with infrastructure, but the private irrigation systems on individual land parcels would be considered land improvements, not infrastructure. Service connections to municipal service and public utility networks would also be considered land improvements, not infrastructure.[12][13] The term public works includes government-owned and operated infrastructure as well as public buildings, such as schools and court houses. Public works
Public works
generally refers to physical assets needed to deliver public services. Public services
Public services
include both infrastructure and services generally provided by government. Ownership and financing[edit] Main article: Infrastructure
and economics Infrastructure
may be owned and managed by governments or by private companies, such as sole public utility or railway companies. Generally, most roads, major airports and other ports, water distribution systems, and sewage networks are publicly owned, whereas most energy and telecommunications networks are privately owned.[citation needed] Publicly owned infrastructure may be paid for from taxes, tolls, or metered user fees, whereas private infrastructure is generally paid for by metered user fees.[citation needed] Major investment projects are generally financed by the issuance of long-term bonds.[citation needed] Government-owned and operated infrastructure may be developed and operated in the private sector or in public-private partnerships, in addition to in the public sector. As of 2008[update] in the United States for example, public spending on infrastructure has varied between 2.3% and 3.6% of GDP
since 1950.[14] Many financial institutions invest in infrastructure. Types[edit] Engineering and construction[edit] Engineers
generally limit the term "infrastructure" to describe fixed assets that are in the form of a large network; in other words, hard infrastructure.[citation needed] Efforts to devise more generic definitions of infrastructures have typically referred to the network aspects of most of the structures, and to the accumulated value of investments in the networks as assets.[citation needed] One such definition from 1998 defined infrastructure as the network of assets "where the system as a whole is intended to be maintained indefinitely at a specified standard of service by the continuing replacement and refurbishment of its components".[15] Civil defense
Civil defense
and economic development[edit] See also: Civil defense
Civil defense
by country Civil defense
Civil defense
planners and developmental economists generally refer to both hard and soft infrastructure, including public services such as schools and hospitals, emergency services such as police and fire fighting, and basic financial services. The notion of infrastructure-based development combining long-term infrastructure investments by government agencies at central and regional levels with public private partnerships has proven popular among economists in Asia (notably Singapore
and China), mainland Europe, and Latin America. Military[edit] Military
infrastructure is the buildings and permanent installations necessary for the support of military forces, whether they are stationed in bases, being deployed or engaged in operations. For example, barracks, headquarters, airfields, communications facilities, stores of military equipment, port installations, and maintenance stations.[16] Green[edit] Main article: Green infrastructure Green infrastructure
Green infrastructure
(or blue-green infrastructure) highlights the importance of the natural environment in decisions about land use planning.[17][18] In particular there is an emphasis on the "life support" functions provided by a network of natural ecosystems, with an emphasis on interconnectivity to support long-term sustainability. Examples include clean water and healthy soils, as well as the more anthropocentric functions such as recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities. The concept can be extended to apply to the management of stormwater runoff at the local level through the use of natural systems, or engineered systems that mimic natural systems, to treat polluted runoff.[19][20] Marxism[edit] In Marxism, the term "infrastructure" is sometimes used as a synonym for "base" in the dialectic synthetic pair base and superstructure. However, the Marxist notion of "base" is broader than the non-Marxist use of the term "infrastructure", and some soft infrastructure, such as laws, governance, regulations, and standards, would be considered by Marxists to be part of the superstructure, not the base.[21] Communications[edit] Communications infrastructure is the informal and formal channels of communication, political and social networks, or beliefs held by members of particular groups, as well as information technology, software development tools. Still underlying these more conceptual uses is the idea that infrastructure provides organizing structure and support for the system or organization it serves, whether it is a city, a nation, a corporation, or a collection of people with common interests. Examples include IT infrastructure, research infrastructure, terrorist infrastructure, employment infrastructure and tourism infrastructure.[citation needed] In the developing world[edit] According to researchers at the Overseas Development Institute, the lack of infrastructure in many developing countries represents one of the most significant limitations to economic growth and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs). Infrastructure
investments and maintenance can be very expensive, especially in such areas as landlocked, rural and sparsely populated countries in Africa. It has been argued that infrastructure investments contributed to more than half of Africa's improved growth performance between 1990 and 2005, and increased investment is necessary to maintain growth and tackle poverty. The returns to investment in infrastructure are very significant, with on average thirty to forty percent returns for telecommunications (ICT) investments, over forty percent for electricity generation, and eighty percent for roads.[22] Regional differences[edit] The demand for infrastructure, both by consumers and by companies is much higher than the amount invested.[22] There are severe constraints on the supply side of the provision of infrastructure in Asia.[23] The infrastructure financing gap between what is invested in Asia-Pacific (around US$48 billion) and what is needed (US$228 billion) is around US$180 billion every year.[22] In Latin
America, three percent of GDP
(around US$71 billion) would need to be invested in infrastructure in order to satisfy demand, yet in 2005, for example, only around two percent was invested leaving a financing gap of approximately US$24 billion.[22] In Africa, in order to reach the seven percent annual growth calculated to be required to meet the MDGs by 2015 would require infrastructure investments of about fifteen percent of GDP, or around US$93 billion a year. In fragile states, over thirty-seven percent of GDP
would be required.[22] Sources of funding[edit] The source of financing varies significantly across sectors. Some sectors are dominated by government spending, others by overseas development aid (ODA), and yet others by private investors.[22] In order to facilitate investment of the private sector in developing countries' infrastructure markets, it is necessary to design risk-allocation mechanisms more carefully, given the higher risks of their markets.[24] In Sub-Saharan Africa, governments spend around US$9.4 billion out of a total of US$24.9 billion. In irrigation, governments represent almost all spending. In transport and energy a majority of investment is government spending. In ICT and water supply and sanitation, the private sector represents the majority of capital expenditure. Overall, between them aid, the private sector, and non- OECD
financiers exceed government spending. The private sector spending alone equals state capital expenditure, though the majority is focused on ICT infrastructure investments. External financing increased in the 2000s (decade) and in Africa
alone external infrastructure investments increased from US$7 billion in 2002 to US$27 billion in 2009. China, in particular, has emerged as an important investor.[22] See also[edit]


infrastructure Asset Management Plan Green infrastructure Infrastructure
as a service Infrastructure
asset management Infrastructure
security Logistics Megaproject Project finance Pseudo-urbanization Public capital Sustainable architecture Sustainable engineering


^ . Infrastructure
Define Infrastructure
at Dictionary.com ^ O'Sullivan, Arthur; Sheffrin, Steven M. (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. p. 474. ISBN 0-13-063085-3.  ^ Fulmer, Jeffrey (2009). "What in the world is infrastructure?". PEI Infrastructure
Investor (July/August): 30–32.  ^ Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/infrastructure (accessed: April 24, 2008) ^ a b "Soft Infrastructure
– Definition". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2015-03-21.  ^ Stephen Lewis The Ecology of Infrastructure
and the Infrastructure of the Internet, blog Hag Pak Sak, posted September 22, 2008. ^ Infrastructure
for the 21st Century, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1987. ^ OECD
Economic Infrastructure. Common Reporting Standard (CRS) Codes 2 pages, n.d. ^ a b 2017 Infrastructure
Report, 112pp, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2017 ^ The soft infrastructure of a market economy Archived 2011-03-28 at the Wayback Machine. William A. Niskanen, 1991, Cato Journal, Vol. 11, No. 2, 233–38, Cato Institute ^ " Infrastructure
in India" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2010-10-24.  ^ Land improvement, Online BusinessDictionary.com, http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/land-development.html (accessed January 31, 2009) ^ Land development, Online BusinessDictionary.com, http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/land-development.html (accessed January 31, 2009) ^ The New York Times, "Money for Public Projects", November 19, 2008 (accessed January 26, 2009) ^ Association of Local Government
New Zealand: " Infrastructure Asset Management
Infrastructure Asset Management
Manual", June 1998. Edition 1.1 ^ D.O.D. Dictionary of Military
and Associated Terms, 2001 (rev. 2005) ^ The Conservation Fund, Arlington, VA. "Green Infrastructure". Accessed 2009-10-06. ^ Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis, MD. Maryland's Green Infrastructure
Assessment: A Comprehensive Strategy for Land Conservation and Restoration. Archived 2008-03-09 at the Wayback Machine. May 2003. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C., et al., Green Infrastructure
Statement of Intent. 2007-04-19. Archived May 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. ^ EPA et al. "Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure: Action Strategy 2008." January 2008. Archived May 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Marx, Karl Heinrich (1818–1883), accessed January 9, 2011. ^ a b c d e f g Christian K.M. Kingombe 2011. Mapping the new infrastructure financing landscape. London: Overseas Development Institute ^ Peter McCawley (2010), ' Infrastructure
Policy in Developing countries', Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, 24(1), May. See also Asian-Pacific Economic Literature Policy Brief No 19, May 2010, on ' Infrastructure
policy in developing countries in Asia'. ^ Koh, Jae Myong (2018) Green Infrastructure
Financing: Institutional Investors, PPPs and Bankable Projects, Palgrave Macmillan.


Koh, Jae Myong (2018) Green Infrastructure
Financing: Institutional Investors, PPPs and Bankable Projects, London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-319-71769-2. Nurre, Sarah G. "Restoring infrastructure systems: An integrated network design and scheduling (INDS) problem." European Journal of Operational Research. (12/2012), 223 (3), pp. 794–806.

Ascher, Kate; researched by Wendy Marech (2007). The works: anatomy of a city (Reprint. ed.). New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0143112709.  Larry W. Beeferman, "Pension Fund Investment in Infrastructure: A Resource Paper", Capital Matter (Occasional Paper Series), No. 3 December 2008 A. Eberhard, " Infrastructure
Regulation in Developing Countries", PPIAF Working Paper No. 4 (2007) World Bank M. Nicolas J. Firzli and Vincent Bazi, " Infrastructure
Investments in an Age of Austerity: The Pension and Sovereign Funds Perspective", published jointly in Revue Analyse Financière, Q4 2011 issue, pp. 34–37 and USAK/JTW July 30, 2011 (online edition) Hayes, Brian (2005). Infrastructure: the book of everything for the industrial landscape (1st ed.). New York City: Norton. ISBN 978-0393329599.  Huler, Scott (2010). On the grid: a plot of land, an average neighborhood, and the systems that make our world work. Emmaus, Penn.: Rodale. ISBN 978-1-60529-647-0.  Georg Inderst, "Pension Fund Investment in Infrastructure", OECD Working Papers on Insurance and Private Pensions, No. 32 (2009) Dalakoglou, Dimitris (2017). The Road: An Ethnography of (Im)mobility, space and cross-border infrastructures. Manchester: Manchester University Press/ Oxford university Press. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Infrastructure.

Look up infrastructure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Body of Knowledge on Infrastructure
Regulation Next Generation Infrastructures international research programme Report Card on America's Infrastructure

v t e


Bridge Canal Causeway Dam Drainage Footbridge Interchange Levee Overpass Road Skyway Storm
drain Tunnel

See also: Architecture Arena Civil engineering Construction Playground Stadium Theatre Urban park

v t e

Public infrastructure

assets and facilities

Airports Bridges Broadband Canals Critical infrastructure Dams Electricity
generation Energy
development Hazardous waste Hospitals Levees Lighthouses Municipal solid waste Parks Ports Public housing Public spaces Public transport Public utilities Public works Rail transport Roads Sewage State schools Telecommunications Wastewater Water supply
Water supply
network Wind power


Appropriation Infrastructure
asset management Build–operate–transfer Design–build Earmark Engineering contracts Externality Fixed cost Government
debt Life-cycle assessment Lindahl tax Maintenance, repair, and operations Natural monopoly Property tax Public capital Public finance Public good Public sector Public–private partnership Renovation Spillover effect Supply chain Taxation Upgrade

issues and ideas

Air traffic control Brownfield
land Bus rapid transit Carbon footprint Congestion pricing Containerization Ethanol
fuel Fuel efficiency Fuel tax Groundwater High-speed rail Hybrid vehicles Land-use planning Mobile data terminal Pork barrel Recycling Renewable
resources Reverse osmosis Smart grid Smart growth Stormwater Sustainable urban infrastructure Traffic congestion Transit-oriented development Urban sprawl Waste-to-energy Weatherization Wireless

fields of study

Architecture Civil engineering Electrical engineering Mechanical engineering Public economics Public policy Urban planning


Akashi Kaikyō Bridge Autobahn Brooklyn Bridge Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit
systems Channel Tunnel Controlled-access highway systems Electric power transmission High-speed trains Hong Kong International Airport Hoover Dam Humber Bridge Kansai International Airport Millau Viaduct Nuclear power Offshore wind farms Panama Canal Port
of Shanghai San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge Solar power Three Gorges Dam Trans-Alaska pipeline Transcontinental railroads

v t e

Railway infrastructure

Permanent way (history)

Axe ties Baulk road Breather switch Cant Clip and scotch Datenail Fishplate Ladder track Minimum radius Rail fastening system Rail profile Railroad tie/Sleeper Track ballast Track transition curve

Trackwork and track structures

Balloon loop Classification yard Coaling tower Headshunt Junction Gauntlet track Guide bar Passing loop Track gauge

Dual gauge

Rail track

Tramway track

Rail yard Railway electrification system

Third rail Overhead lines

Railway turntable Roll way Siding

Refuge siding

Switch Track geometry Track pan Water
crane Wye

Signalling and safety

Block post Buffer stop Catch points Defect detector Derail Interlocking Level crossing Loading gauge Railway signal Signalling control Structure gauge Signal bridge Tell-tale Train stop Wayside horn


Goods shed Motive power depot Railway platform Railway station Roundhouse Station building Station clock Train shed

Authority control

GND: 40269