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Letter from the Editor

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Editorial

Infrastructures have long been taken for granted. They are part of our lives and we do not even notice that they are there until they malfunction or fail. In a sense, an infrastructure and its services perform at their best when they go almost unnoticed. We rely on our energy supply without really thinking about it, we expect that when we open our tap, that we will get water. And the omnipresence of IT and its infrastructures in the form of smart phones, tablets and laptops is just regular part of our daily lives. Maybe only the transportation infrastructures make us aware on a regular basis that infrastructure systems and services could actually fail or underperform.

Nowadays, infrastructures and infrasystems are increasingly becoming entangled, intertwined, and mutually dependent: electric vehicles become important flexibility providers in the energy networks; or IT infrastructures become key in monitoring and operating our infrastructures. This increasing connectedness clearly gives rise to new opportunities, but at the same time results in critically dependent systems, increasing their vulnerability, for example due to cybersecurity threats.

And, in addition to these technological integration and interconnectedness, we witness an unprecedented change in the role of users and consumers, facilitated by IT and massive data and information production. This calls, among other issues, for new market models, new institutional designs, and new business models.

This journal allows scholars who study this co-evolution of technology, institutions and human values and behavior in infrastructures to share their scientific progress and to collectively shape this new research field of Infrastructure Complexity.

We have deliberately set the scope of the journal wide, in order to help shape this new field of research. The journal encourages contributions from many fields, but to help shape the field, we start out with a number of fields that we deem important for this field of study. Submissions are especially encouraged for complexity in smart energy grids research, for complexity in urban infrastructure resilience and for the study of complexity in relation to infrastructure performance.

Our first submissions are currently being reviewed and we expect quick turnarounds so the OpenAccess publication will be found on this website soon. The first paper is already out there!

We invite you to help shape the field of Infrastructure Complexity and we look forward to a thriving research community.

Paulien Herder

Editor in Chief.

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Correspondence to Paulien Herder.

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Herder, P. Letter from the Editor. Infrastruct. Complex 1, 2 (2014) doi:10.1186/s40551-014-0002-3

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Keywords

  • Electric Vehicle
  • Smart Phone
  • Technological Integration
  • Regular Part
  • Transportation Infrastructure