A genuine and coordinated global infrastructure program

The International Symposia for Next Generation Infrastructure is an initiative of the SMART Infrastructure Facility and our host partners University College London (UK), University of Oxford (UK), University of Virginia (US) and Delft University of Technology (NLD). The objective of the symposia series is to commence a genuine and co-ordinated global infrastructure research program about long-term infrastructure and land use planning and to provide an opportunity for the best and sharpest minds from industry, government and academia work together to create not only best practice benchmarks but new knowledge to better inform strategies for long term prosperity.

We seek to establish international and interdisciplinary research collaborations that are designed to enable exploration of the development of Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) in the context of understanding the interactions between infrastructure, the population it serves, technology and sustainability both now and into the future.

Academic Steering Group



Development of next generation infrastructure is a key challenge for both developing and developed countries. Huge investment is needed for modernization of legacy infrastructure and for greenfield infrastructure development. The energy transition, extreme weather events and other consequences of climate change, digitalization and datafication of infrastructure service provision, the urbanization of societies worldwide and the ongoing convergence of infrastructure systems in a system-of-systems require us to rethink infrastructure. The complexity of this challenge is unprecedented in the world of infrastructure. Rethinking is needed in physical design and technology, spatial planning and in the institutions of infrastructure governance. Acknowledging the interdependencies in the infrastructure system-of-systems is a complete break with the established tradition of silo’d planning and governance.

Major research programmes have been launched worldwide to cope with the challenges of providing infrastructure for the next generation. They combine knowledge development in the engineering and social sciences, and invite contributions from the humanities. They acknowledge the values embedded in the design and governance of infrastructure. Another common trait is that they involve active collaboration between academic researchers and practitioners from government and industry.

ISNGI 2019 provides a platform for infrastructure systems research, especially for radical transdisciplinary research which seeks to conceptualize and model an integrative approach and make a system-of-systems view to infrastructure operational. ISNGI 2019 invites a range of contributions from leading academics, industry leaders and government representatives. The vision of ISNGI is to ensure the best and sharpest minds from industry, government and academia collectively inform strategies to meet the next generation infrastructure challenges.

In all our efforts, we have to keep in mind that infrastructure is not a goal in itself. It is about the provision of essential services to all members of society, about ensuring the affordability, reliability and acceptability of these services, and about respecting values like fairness and justice in the way these services are provided. Infrastructure is crucial for the quality of life, and for the quality of living together. Infrastructure is a means to the end of an inclusive and prosperous society for generations to come.

ISNGI 2019 will convene in the Palacio de Aguas Corrientes at Buenos Aires. This beautiful water pumping station, completed in 1894, embodies important values of infrastructure. Besides the cultural value of infrastructure assets, it symbolizes infrastructure as a crucial enabler for the wellbeing of people. After all, what infrastructure service is more crucial than the provision of clean water, as a condition for life on our planet?

I look forward to meeting you at ISNGI 2019 to help shape the future of infrastructure.



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The Palace of Flowing Waters (Palacio de Aguas Corrientes) is an architecturally significant water pumping station in Buenos Aires, Argentina.



ISNGI 2019 is the sixth in a series of symposia on Next Generation Infrastructure which will bring together the best and sharpest minds from academia, government and industry to discuss the latest thinking on a range of topics, including:

Infrastructure System-of-Systems Thinking

How to stage integrative cross-sector approaches to planning, implementing, operating and governing infrastructure systems? What methods and models can support decision makers in government and industry in taking an integrative view to infrastructure?

Sustainable Infrastructure

How can infrastructure be developed and used in a harmonious way with the natural environment? How can ecosystem services be preserved while new infrastructure still needs to be developed for large numbers of the increasing world population? How can infrastructure be developed in a way that supports biodiversity and space for nature?

Intelligent Infrastructure

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are rapidly invading the world of infrastructure. What is their potential for improving the quality and affordability of infrastructure services? How can their potential be exploited, while managing new risks and vulnerabilities? What do these developments imply for the governance of next generation infrastructure and the emergent data platforms? Which values are at stake and how can they be safeguarded?

Adaptive Infrastructure Planning

In the interval between planning and implementation of infrastructure projects, technological development is progressing. How can a more adaptive planning process be staged that acknowledges relevant technological innovations and provides room for adopting them in the planning of infrastructure projects? How can government guarantee accountability and administrative reliability in adaptive and integrative infrastructure planning practices?

Funding and Finance for Infrastructure

Which innovative financing arrangements may be effective to close the infrastructure investment gap? What do they mean for the distribution of the financial burden between the public and the private sector? How can fiscal and onetary policies

Value Characterization of Infrastructure for Society

In the appraisal of infrastructure projects, the economic dimension is dominant. Yet, our understanding of the direct and indirect economic effects of infrastructure is still limited. It is also evident that many non-economic values are at stake, such as social and cultural values and moral values. The value systems of the past are deeply embedded in the infrastructure that supports society today. Can we “read” and characterize these embedded values? And how can the value awareness thus raised be employed to design “better” infrastructure?

Infrastructure Development in the Face of Climate Change

Considering the life span of most infrastructure assets, climate change provides a real and imminent threat to the systems that constitute the foundation of our societies. Sea level rise, changing patterns of rainfall, and many different types of extreme weather events harbor a potential risk of massive infrastructure destruction, today and even more in the future. How may we curb these risks? What could it mean for the planning of infrastructure and cities?

Infrastructure and the Circular Economy

Global population growth and economic development are leading to unprecedented pressure on natural resources, including scarce materials. Circularity is the new keyword, also in the world of infrastructure. While much effort is directed at improving the circularity of physical infrastructure assets, far less work has been done on the infrastructure that will be needed to support a truly circular economy in the future. Contributions are welcome in both areas.

The list of topics is not limitative. Original papers that contribute otherwise to the development of next generation infrastructure are welcome as well as papers that contribute to a research and innovation agenda for next generation infrastructure.

Academic Programme Committee

Call for extended abstracts

The 7 th International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure (ISNGI 2019) invites academicians, practitioners from the infrastructure and utility industries, policy makers and other stakeholders to submit original research contributions, reviews and case studies pertaining to:
  • the design, planning, financing, operation and management of next generation infrastructure
  • next generation infrastructure policy making and regulation
  • the research and innovation agenda for next generation infrastructure
Original contributions are especially welcome in the special topic areas selected for this conference:
  • Infrastructure System-of-Systems Thinking
  • Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Intelligent Infrastructure
  • Adaptive Infrastructure Planning
  • Funding and Finance for Infrastructure
  • Value Characterization of Infrastructure for Society
  • Infrastructure Development in the Face of Climate Change
  • Infrastructure and the Circular Economy
The list is not limitative. Original research contributions in other relevant topic areas will be welcomed, especially if they address the cross-sector and interdisciplinary complexity of infrastructure systems.

To facilitate the submission process, please consider the following guidelines, information, tips, terms and deadlines mentioned.

  • The word limit is 1500 words. The page limit is 5, including tables and figures.
  • Your abstract should be submitted in English
  • The abstract should give clear insight into the purpose, methodology, results and conclusion(s) of the work
  • We encourage you to add a brief biography with the abstract
  • Submit your abstract to conferences
  • Please submit your abstract before 31 July 2019
  • After submission, the receipt of your abstract will be acknowledged via an email within three working days.
  • All abstracts will be peer reviewed. You will be notified of acceptance for oral presentation or poster presentation at ISNGI2019 by 19 August 2019

Proposals for special sessions, workshops and discussion panels at the 7 th International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure are most welcome, before 12 June 2019. Any such proposal must detail:

  • The topic/theme and purpose
  • The participants/authors/panelists involved. In case of a paper-based special session, provide the names of the authors and titles of their contributions.

Keynote Speakers

Local Partners


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