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Title: Integrated infrastructure systems : strategic planning practice and problem structuring support
Author: Steenmans, I.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 8060
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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There is currently significant interest in increasing collaboration across traditional infrastructure sector boundaries. Greater coordination and integration of resources across historically siloed infrastructure networks can potentially affect a range of desirable outcomes, including the reduction of total urban waste streams. Despite considerable and persistent enthusiasm for such cross-sectorally integrated projects among academic, policy and practitioner communities alike, however, there are to date few existing examples where integrated, 'looped', and 'circular' infrastructure has been realised at the urban scale. This thesis aims to support the practice of planning such complex, cross-sectoral infrastructure. It is structured in two parts. The first addresses knowledge gaps in our understanding of the challenges encountered in cross-sectoral integration practice. Drawing on the experiences of seven integration projects, it validates and extends the integration challenges described in the extant literature, as well as provides the empirical foundation for the thesis. Using complex adaptive systems (CAS) theories, the existence of four mechanisms influencing integration practice is subsequently postulated. Their dynamics are used to explain why the development of a strategic value proposition is a particularly critical, as well as challenging, aspect of cross-sectoral integration processes. It is concluded that insufficient clarity of strategic integration objectives limits the necessary buy-in by those stakeholders with the critical capacities for influencing change. The second part of the thesis responds to the preceding diagnosis of challenges faced by proposing the use and adaptation of Problem Structuring Methods (PSMs) - a set of decision support methods rarely used nowadays in urban planning practice. It details the design of four interventions with PSMs in cross-sectoral infrastructure projects. It finds that they can enhance both the effectiveness and efficiency of integration practice and recommends their use for future strategic cross-sectoral planning exercises, provided their application is adapted to the specific pressures of their practical context.
Supervisor: Williams, J. ; Letier, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available