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Regional infrastructure foresight (RIF) - transition management for the sanitation sector

Applicant Truffer Bernhard
Number 107157
Funding scheme NRP 54 Sustainable Development of the Built Environment
Research institution CIRUS Innovation research in utility sectors Eawag Swiss Federal Institut of Aquatic Science and Technology
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology - EAWAG
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.07.2005 - 31.07.2009
Approved amount 375'398.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Civil Engineering

Keywords (5)

sanitation systems; infrastructure foresight; innovation assessment; transition management; regional governance

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Sustainable planning and renewing of the sanitation sector

The sustainable transformation of towns and cities must consider factors such as the longevity of material structures and the intertwined dynamics of settlements and their infrastructures, including resulting limitations. Changing possibilities have to be identified as early as possible, as well as adequate flexibilities. The project elaborates an approach, which allows sustainable infrastructure shifts to be planned at regional level.

The project develops a "Regional Infrastructure Foresight" approach, which will empower authorities, technology developers and sanitation professionals to formulate mid- to long-term strategies for infrastructure development, as well as enable them to evaluate sustainable innovations strategically. Even though the methodology will be developed and tested for the sanitation sector, its results will be relevant to other sectors as well. The findings will first be applied in general terms to: the entire urban water sector and then to infrastructure planning in overall.

The project encompasses three major blocks: - Problem identification: analysis of the key problems and drivers for change, which may become effective over the next 30 to 70 years in the Swiss sanitation sector - Innovation system analysis: analysis of socio-technical, organisational and institutional innovations, which may take place during this period - Regional planning experiments: The "Regional Infrastructure Foresight" method will be adopted in two or three Swiss communes, which are likely to face problems in the near future

Beyond its academic aims, the project aims to contribute to practical solution to pressing problems related to the sustainable transformation of infrastructure in Switzerland. The methodology will enable local and regional decision-makers to analyse their situation and also assess the options that they may have in the future.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
172366 Challenges and Opportunities of Modular water Infrastructures for Greening the Swiss Economy (COMIX) 01.01.2018 NRP 73 Sustainable Economy