The individual as the key-stakeholder of Next Generation Infrastructure: defining the social value of transport infrastructure in the United Kingdom

Nikolaos Kalyviotis, Christopher Rogers, Miles Tight, Geoffrey J. D. Hewings, Hemanta Doloi

Research output: Contribution to conference (unpublished)Other

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The idea of social value has arisen from the psychological approach, and more specifically it is based on the principle of “independence of irrelevant alternatives” from the game theory introduced by Luce and Raiffa1. According to this, each alternative situation has an utility/value for the individual, which is a function of the features of the alternative situation and of the features of the individual who makes the choice. Beyond that, it assumed that the individual, who makes the choice, has a clear and measurable knowledge of the value, which each choice provides. Although even after the evaluation of each choice, it is a tentative situation regarding the choice of the individual. In other words, there is an element of possibility. Under the same principle of Luce and Raiffa, the possibility of a choice is in direct ratio to its value. The above mentioned assumptions constitute the “strict utility choice mode”. The exponential form of the value function is achieved by simple transformations of the “strict utility choice mode”,where X and S have a linear correlation. The exponential functions of the total value have a sigmoid form relative to the linear function of the value of the possible choice. This means that the exponential function may have a sigmoid form relative to the X-axis or Y-axis, based on the defined axes and values. The key challenge addressed is a quantitative sense of value, when the perceptions of value are qualitative. To measure social value quantitatively is challenging, since it is observed that pricing systems are “not based primarily on the users’ identity or activity”, but on the ability and willingness of the final user to pay. The social value gained by the individual is difficult to calculate, since it is defined by human behaviour and human needs. According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, these needs belong to specific groups with specific hierarchy. Maslow developed value (utility) curves of each category of need relative to the age of the individual. The sum of the curves gives an almost sigmoid curve. Winters et al. created a Transportation Hierarchy of Needs and they found the following transport hierarchy of needs: [1] safety and security, [2] time, [3] societal acceptance, [4] cost and [5] comfort and convenience. This research studied value as something holistically affected by all the above factors (time, cost, comfort and convenience, safety and security), without considering their ranking, by asking individuals representative of the UK’s demography to
evaluate the social value of eight transport modes (walking, cycling, rail, bus, car, taxi, water and air) and each factor for each mode with a questionnaire survey. The hypothesis tested is that the value to the individual, collectively, from the aforementioned factors should have an almost sigmoid curve, which was verified.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2017
EventInternational Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure 2017 - One Great George Street, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Sept 201713 Sept 2017


ConferenceInternational Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure 2017
Abbreviated titleISNGI
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • infrastructure
  • social value
  • business model


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