Sustainable urban infrastructure: A review

Urban infrastructure is a multifaceted concept that goes beyond a set of engineered facilities, utilities, and systems. It is equally a place for local and global governance, intertwining issues of economic growth, climate change, and municipal waste. The concept of sustainability is relatively new and it encompasses a multidisciplinary field made of engineering, economic, social, and environmental sciences. Research in sustainable urban infrastructure is a new and ever evolving field. This paper offers a verifiable and reproducible systematic literature review of sustainable urban infrastructure, electronically analysing and scrutinizing 995 papers for the co-occurrence of keywords. It aims to answer two research questions: (i) what are the sustainable urban infrastructure prevailing themes and (ii) how have these themes evolved? The main themes identified were storm-water, developing countries, cities, investments, urban areas, environmental impact, life cycle, climate change, urban infrastructure, and vulnerability. Sustainable urban infrastructure themes have evolved from modernity in urbanism, slum areas, and degradation of urban spaces in the mid of last century to ecological views of the built environment and urban networks. The taxonomy of themes and the analysis of its evolution led to a research agenda on disaster mitigation, maintenance and sustainability of facilities and utilities, urban metabolism and vulnerabilities, e-city, and communication networks.