Aims and Objectives

Core Themes: Valuing, financing and funding infrastructure from local and national perspectives ; the future of local infrastructure in the face of crisis in Local Government funding and finance

Sectors: Digital-Smart Infrastructure ; Water, waste and circular economy ; Transport ; Energy

Topics: Business Models for Infrastructure ; Governance and infrastructure value ; Finance ; Urban living ; Cultural and Social Value; Sustainability ; Financialisation ; Industrial Strategy and Regeneration ; Modelling of infrastructure assets ; How Universities can aid local infrastructure funding, finance and value creation

Interactive Sessions: Networking; Conference dinner; World Café: Discussing grand infrastructure challenges; Feedback, synthesis and next steps

The conference aims be a catalyst for a step-change in the recognition and measurement of all forms of value arising from city, regional and national infrastructure, by connecting partners from academia, government, business and civil society operating at the local, national and international levels to debate, inform policy and shape plans for future research.

Interactive and panel sessions will be interspersed by presentation of the latest and most valuable findings in the area from three major research programmesː iBUILD, ICIF and ITRC-MISTRAL. The conference, hosted by the University of Leeds, develops an interdisciplinary ‘systems of systems’ approach to sustainable and resilient infrastructure. These ideas developed originally in engineering are now applied universally, exemplified in HM Treasury’s Valuing Infrastructure Spend. This approach recognises the importance of identifying and measuring all forms of value that can be realised from infrastructure at city, regional and national scales, in order to meet diverse challenges such as climate change, austerity, geo-political instability and financial fragility.

The conference will show how the ‘system of systems’ approach to infrastructure value is indispensable for:

  • Local authorities, national government and regulators seeking to increase overall efficiency in face of austerity
  • Financiers of infrastructure in assessing long term value of infrastructure investment
  • Civil society organisations seeking high quality, inclusive infrastructure provision
  • Academics undertaking high impact interdisciplinary infrastructure research.

During the conference we will be exploring some key questions such as:

  • What are the main issues for local authority funding and finance of infrastructure provision?
  • How can and do Universities work with local authorities and other stakeholders to address these?
  • How can we better understand infrastructure needs, purpose and value?
  • What new business models are emerging and what can we learn from this?