The International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure (ISNGI) will be hosted by Virginia Tech and sponsored through a cooperative initiative of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and the Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience and our partners, the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong, University College London, University of Oxford and the Delft University of Technology. The conference is part of a symposia series that seeks to bring together leaders from industry, government, and academia to begin a genuine and coordinated global infrastructure research program focused on long-term infrastructure and land use planning. The 2015 symposium marks the third installment of ISNGI and seeks to determine best practices benchmarks and to create new knowledge to better inform strategies for long-term prosperity.
As the effects of climate change become increasingly realized and the limits of the planet challenged, it is necessary to adapt current practices and develop strategies that adequately respond to modern critical threats, including, but not limited to: decaying physical infrastructure, a healthcare infrastructure stressed by pandemics, overconsumption of resources in the power and transport sectors, economic volatility, and risks to cyber-infrastructure. The International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure encourages the development of systems and processes that will allow for economic, political, and structural resilience. The need to develop strategies and infrastructure capacity to meet the needs of future generations presents both opportunities and challenges for leaders in industry, government, and academia. We envision exploring these opportunities and challenges through case studies, theoretical and conceptual papers, as well as through demonstrations of cutting-edge methodologies, and investigations into alternative epistemological propositions for resilience. These issues are not simply a matter for advanced economies; rather, they must be addressed on many scales—locally, regionally, and internationally—for the effects of globalization are realized in an uneven geography.
The 2015 symposium will explore the aforementioned issues by focusing on four major themes:
What political, economic, and social infrastructures are required to battle pandemics? How might communicable diseases be more effectively addressed by the international community? How might disproportionality and health disparities be better addressed?
What is the current state of transport infrastructure and how might we prepare for future transport management needs? What power generation infrastructure needs to be in place for a growing population and increasing energy demand? How might we mitigate detrimental environmental impacts that coincide with emissions from power generation and transportation?
How can economic systems manage volatility? How can economic systems prepare for the disasters that will coincide with climate change? How can structural inequalities be addressed under current economic systems?
What technologies enable researchers to devise innovations in resilient infrastructure? What methods and models are best equipped to gauge the needs for resilient infrastructure for current and future generations?