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Enabling and Integrative Infrastructure Policy: The Role of Inverse Infrastructures in Local Infrastructure Provision with Special Reference to Finnish Water Cooperatives

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportProfessional


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2014
Publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameMPRA Paper


Infrastructures are necessary to support the functionality of urban communities. Globalization, increased polycentricity, new trends in governance and tightening public budgets have increased interest in alternative ways of providing such infrastructures. One product of this trend is the ‘inverse infrastructure,’ which refers to a modularized, semi-autonomous and user-driven infrastructure that is a result of the self-organization of local actors. In this study, we discuss the nature of such infrastructures and the challenges they pose to local infrastructure policy with special reference to the case of water cooperatives in Finland. Our conclusion is that inverse infrastructures have a potential to contribute to local infrastructure services either as cost-effective alternative or as supplement to large technical systems. Their full utilization requires, however, enabling and integrative infrastructure policy.


  • Infrastructure, Infrastructure policy, Public policy , Local government , Inverse infrastructure, Complex adaptive system, Adaptation, Self-Organization, Resilience, Volunteering, Water services, Water cooperative, Finland

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