Critical infrastructures and sharing: implications for UK centralised infrastructure systems

J M Leach, Ian Bartle, James Hale, Christopher Bouch, Christopher T Boyko, Susan Lee, Valeria De Laurentiis, Marianna Cavada, Martin Locret-Collet, Dexter Hunt, Jonathan Sadler, Christopher Rogers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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The UK economy has moved away from traditional large-scale and standardised manufacturing processes (Fordism) towards a more service-based economy and smaller-scale and more specialised manufacturing (post-Fordism). A more variegated, smaller-scale and specialised economy seems to fit better with more flexible provision of critical infrastructures. Sharing offers a unique opportunity to modernise UK critical infrastructures, increasing resilience to shocks as well as responsiveness to changes in consumption and production whilst improving sustainability and citizen wellbeing. However, the historic development path taken by UK critical infrastructures has resulted in siloed management structures, substantial sunk-costs, and equipment lock-in, which militates against the emergence of sharing opportunities in these sectors. This paper explores sharing (and in particular issues of ownership and control) as it relates to the critical infrastructures of the UK. It reviews the pathways to the current form and function of UK critical infrastructures in an effort to prevent a resurgence of past problems in tandem with thinking about how these systems might be made more resilient and sustainable through sharing. It concludes that with careful and considered application, sharing offers the potential for new ideas, innovation, greater flexibility and adaptability, a move away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and a greater responsiveness that appears lacking in the traditional UK approach to critical infrastructures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure 2015
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Sept 2015
EventInternational Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure - Washington DC, United States
Duration: 14 Sept 201515 Sept 2015


ConferenceInternational Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington DC


  • critical infrastructure
  • sharing
  • centralised
  • decentralised
  • ownership
  • business models
  • sustainability
  • liveability


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