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Inverse Infrastructures

Inverse Infrastructures

Disrupting Networks from Below

Edited by Tineke M. Egyedi and Donna C. Mehos

The notion of inverse infrastructures – that is, bottom-up, user-driven, self-organizing networks – gives us a fresh perspective on the omnipresent infrastructure systems that support our economy and structure our way of living. This fascinating book considers the emergence of inverse infrastructures as a new phenomenon that will have a vast impact on consumers, industry and policy. Using a wide range of theories, from institutional economics to complex adaptive systems, it explores the mechanisms and incentives for the rise of these alternatives to large-scale infrastructures and points to their potential disruptive effect on conventional markets and governance models.

Appendix I: The Internet and Rijkswaterstaat: An ICT Infrastructure for Roads and Waterways

Wim G. Vree

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, technology and ict


Wim G. Vree Speech given by Prof. W.G. Vree on Wednesday, 29 January 2003, on the occasion of his inauguration as Professor of Information and Communication Technology at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management of TU Delft. Dear Rector Magnificus, Members of the Executive Board, Professors and other members of the academic community, Much esteemed guests, Ladies and gentlemen, INTRODUCTION The Internet may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, also commonly known by its Dutch name of Rijkswaterstaat. Today I would like to explain why the relation between the two will become more important in the future than you might think. Some time ago, the council of ministers decided that Rijkswaterstaat will be turned into an agency. This entails that Rijkswaterstaat will come to operate as an independent company, although under the political responsibility of the minister. The role that Rijkswaterstaat has chosen to spearhead this change is that of ‘independent public service provider’. This entails three concepts that have far-reaching implications: independent, public oriented and service oriented. Public services are outward oriented, focusing on citizens and on society in general. And this is exactly where Internet plays an important role. Internet is the pre-eminent public medium for the field of service provision. Consider, for example, the role that online information could play in assisting traffic on the roads and waterways. 267 268 Inverse Infrastructures The question arises as to how information will be...

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