Socio-technical infrastructure interdependencies and their implications for urban sustainability; recent insights from the Netherlands

C. Gürsan*, V. de Gooyert, M. de Bruijne, E. Rouwette

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Cities are increasingly recognized as potential motors of sustainability transitions. These transitions build on existing as well as new infrastructures, and these infrastructures mutually influence each other in many ways, a phenomenon known as infrastructure interdependencies. These infrastructure interdependencies have significant implications for both enabling or restricting urban sustainability transitions but their implications remain understudied. We elaborate the role of interdependent infrastructure systems from a socio-technical perspective and explore recent examples of how socio-technical interdependencies in infrastructure systems influence urban sustainability efforts. We analyze infrastructure interdependencies in the Netherlands which is relevant because of its high urbanization rate, dense urban areas, and innovative developments. We distinguish seven socio-technical infrastructure interdependency types that can influence urban sustainability transitions: functional, evolutionary, spatial, life-cycle, policy/procedural, market, and culture/norm interdependencies. We identify and discuss contrasting multi-mode relationships of each interdependency example. Our results offer an interdisciplinary framework and examples of potential influential infrastructure interdependencies to explore, understand, and discuss the implications of infrastructure interdependencies for urban sustainability transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104397
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Infrastructure interdependencies
  • Infrastructure systems
  • Multi-level perspective
  • Multi-mode interactions
  • Socio-technical systems
  • Urban climate mitigation


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