Disrupting Networks from Below
Edited by Tineke M. Egyedi and Donna C. Mehos
Appendix I: The Internet and Rijkswaterstaat: An ICT Infrastructure for Roads and Waterways
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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