Spatial Reconfiguration


A move from centralized to decentralized or distributed infrastructures necessarily involves spatial reconfiguration, as it involves physically arranging infrastructure systems in new ways. Spatial reconfiguration for infrastructure transitions extends beyond the physical systems themselves to the urban form that surrounds them. Optimizing the performance of central or decentralized systems may require arranging the physical layout of the city in new ways, emphasizing different densities, patterns of land use, and distributions of population. How a physical infrastructure system is spatially laid out, in addition to how the urban fabric around physical infrastructure systems is spatially laid out, can both inhibit or promote desired societal outcomes encompassing environmental sustainability as well as human health, wellbeing, and livability.

The network’s research efforts around spatial reconfiguration are focused on understanding what configurations of infrastructure systems themselves, as well as what configurations of urban form, best shape the effectiveness of distributed infrastructures across sectors and at different scales.


Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Transitions in the ASEAN Region: A Resource Perspective (UN Environment and Sustainable Healthy Cities collaboration)

  • February 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

The ASEAN nations are a hot spot for rapid urbanization over the next 30 years: Between 2015 and 2050, ASEAN cities are projected to add 205 million new urban residents … Read more

The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization (International Resource Panel report with Sustainable Healthy Cities contributing authors)

  • February 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

Over the next 30 years, an additional 2.4 billion people are likely to be added to the global urban population. This increase in population will result in a significant expansion … Read more

Circular Economies and Low Carbon Urban Infrastructure Planning

  • February 2018
  • Podcast
  • Author: Anu Ramaswami

What is the unique role that urban infrastructure planning can play in national carbon mitigation? In this podcast, learn how cities are positioned to plan infrastructure systems using circular economy … Read more

Meta-principles for developing smart, sustainable, and healthy cities

  • May 2016
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

  Ramaswami, A., Russell, A. G., Culligan, P. J., Sharma, K. R., & Kumar, E. (2016). “Meta-principles for developing smart, sustainable, and healthy cities”. Science, 352(6288), 940-943. ABSTRACT: Policy directives in several nations … Read more

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