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Sustainable Management of Wire-based Infrastructure: On the Multifaceted Challenges of Infrastructure Management in the Swedish Context
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2024 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Cities, as key players in global sustainable development, are linked to challenges and opportunities driven by urbanization's resource consumption and environmental impacts. This context highlights the critical role of urban infrastructure in fostering sustainability, particularly the role of wire-based infrastructure systems (WBIS). The management, maintenance, and renewal of WBIS are vital to ensuring their long-term efficiency, yet they present challenges across technical, environmental, and societal dimensions. The positioning of these systems beneath urban streets introduces complexities, from accelerated wear to costly excavations, with a wide range of environmental consequences. Beyond the physical implications, the financial, policy, and management practices governing WBIS also contribute to their sustainable development challenges. This study, centered on Linköping's water network in Sweden as a case study, aims to unravel these multifaceted dynamics and answer key research questions regarding the management, challenges, influencing factors, and strategies for improving the maintenance and renewal of urban WBIS. Based on a mixed method approach, the case study utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods, including interviews, workshops, and data analysis. The results highlighted Linköping's UWI challenges, encompassing aging infrastructure, limited renewal rates, and financial constraints. To navigate these challenges, the discussion advocated for a shift towards proactive renewal strategies. The conclusions emphasized the need for an increased funding, strategic planning, proactive coordination among diverse stakeholders, and a balanced approach in budgetary allocations, particularly in considering maintenance and renewal alongside other activities, as crucial for ensuring the longevity and sustainability of the WBIS.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2024. , p. 28
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Licentiate Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1982
Keywords [en]
Infrastructure management, Maintenance and renewal, Sweden, Wire-based infrastructure
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-201447DOI: 10.3384/9789180754699ISBN: 9789180754682 (print)ISBN: 9789180754699 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-201447DiVA, id: diva2:1843443
Presentation
2024-04-11, ACAS, A Building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-03-11 Created: 2024-03-11 Last updated: 2024-04-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Assessing Renewal Needs of Urban Water Infrastructure Systems: Case Study of Linköping in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing Renewal Needs of Urban Water Infrastructure Systems: Case Study of Linköping in Sweden
2023 (English)In: irc 2023 XVII: international research conference proceedings, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology , 2023, Vol. 17, p. 6-19Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Urban Water Infrastructure systems (UWI) are central to functioning cities. For securing a continuous and efficient supply of the systems services, continuous investment, maintenance, and renewal are needed. Neglecting maintenance and renewal can lead to recurrent breakdown problems as systems age, which makes it more and more difficult to secure efficient long-term supply. Globally, many cities struggle with aging water infrastructure, often due to competing funding priorities. Investment in maintenance and renewal is not prioritized. The problem primarily stems from the challenge of reaping the benefits of investments promptly. The long-term benefits gained from investing in the renewal of water infrastructure may be achievable in the long run, resulting in the oversight of such investments. This leads to a build-up of "renewal debt" for future generations to inherit. Addressing this issue is difficult due to various contributing factors and the complex nature of the systems. The study aims to contribute to an increased understanding of the long-term management challenges UWI, the development of improved maintenance and renewal strategies through the examination of water infrastructure management, and the assessment of the adequacy of the maintenance and renewal in a case study, the city of Linköping, Sweden. Employing a mixed methods approach, this study utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods, including interviews, workshops, and data analysis. The findings of the study provided insights into the current status of the water and sewerage networks in Linköping, highlighting the risks to ensuring reliable and sustainable water supply and discussing strategies for improving maintenance and renewal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 2023
Series
World academy of science, engineering and technology, E-ISSN 1307-6892
Keywords
case study, infrastructure management, renewal needs, Sweden, urban water infrastructure.
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-201738 (URN)
Conference
september 11-12, 2023 zurich switzerland
Available from: 2024-03-19 Created: 2024-03-19 Last updated: 2024-04-09
2. Systems Lens: Towards Sustainable Management of Maintenance and Renewal of Wire-Based Infrastructure: The Case of Water Network in the City of Linköping, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Systems Lens: Towards Sustainable Management of Maintenance and Renewal of Wire-Based Infrastructure: The Case of Water Network in the City of Linköping, Sweden
2023 (English)In: irc 2023 XVII: international research conference proceedings, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology , 2023, Vol. 17, p. 85-99Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The city's wire-based infrastructure systems (WBIS) are responsible for the delivery of electricity,telecommunications, sanitation, drainage, and district heating and are a necessity for sustainable modern urban life.Maintaining the functionality of these structures involves high costs and, brings disturbance to the local community and effectson the environment. One key reason for this is that the cables and pipes are placed under streets, making system parts easilyworn and their service lifetime reduced, and all maintenance and renewal rely on recurrent needs for excavation. In Sweden, asignificant part of wire-based infrastructure is already outdated and will need to be replaced in the coming decades. Thereplacement of these systems will entail massive costs as well as important traffic disruption and environmental disturbance.However, this challenge may also open a unique opportunity to introduce new, more sustainable technologies and managementpractices. The transformation of WBIS management for long-term sustainability and meeting maintenance and renewal needsdoes not have a comprehensive approach. However, a systemic approach may inform WBIS management. This approachconsiders both technical and non-technical aspects, as well as time-related factors. Nevertheless, there is limited systemicknowledge of how different factors influence current management practices. The aim of this study is to address this knowledgegap and contribute to the understanding of what factors influence the current practice of WBIS management. A case studyapproach is used to identify current management practices, the underlying factors that influence them, and their implicationsfor sustainability outcomes. The case study is based on both quantitative data on the local system and data from interviews andworkshops with local practitioners and other stakeholders. Linköping was selected as a case since it provided goodaccessibility to the water administration and relevant data for analyzing water infrastructure management strategies. It is asufficiently important city in Sweden to be able to identify challenges, which, to some extent, are common to all Swedish cities.By uncovering current practices and what is influencing Linköping, knowledge gaps and uncertainties related to sustainabilityconsequences were highlighted. The findings show that goals, priorities, and policies controlling management are shorttermed, and decisions on maintenance and renewal are often restricted to finding solutions to the most urgent issues.Sustainability transformation in the infrastructure area will not be possible through individual efforts without coordinatedtechnical, organizational, business, and regulatory changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 2023
Series
Open Science Index, E-ISSN 1307-6892 ; 9
Keywords
case study, infrastructure, management, practice, Sweden
National Category
Civil Engineering Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-201737 (URN)
Conference
ICNITS 2023 : International Conference on Network Infrastructure Technologies and Systems, Lisbon Portugal, September 18-19, 2023
Available from: 2024-03-19 Created: 2024-03-19 Last updated: 2024-04-09Bibliographically approved

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