Utility infrastructure systems, designed well, have a pivotal role to play in improving the sustainability of cities due to their critical functionality in urban environments. Equally, utility streetworks – installation, maintenance and upgrading activities – can adversely impact the local and global economies. The inaccurate location of pipes and cables lengthens streetworks operations and can exacerbate traffic congestion, notably resulting in major delays in cases of third-party utility damage, while vehicle emissions and wasted energy are other examples of the adverse impacts of congestion caused by streetworks operations. The total impact of utility infrastructure projects can be assessed only by evaluating all economic (both direct and indirect), social and environmental costs of streetworks. A dedicated tool for evaluating the sustainability impacts of utility streetworks is required. This paper provides the basis for utility streetworks sustainability assessments, hence full costing, by critically reviewing existing sustainability assessment tools and making recommendations for developing a total sustainability costing model and indicator system.
- Infrastructure planning
- Municipal & public service engineering