Concept

Urban Infrastructures:

Criticality, Vulnerability and Protection

International Conference of the Research Training Group KRITIS
at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany


7th-8th February 2019


Cities are the major sites and physical nodes in the infrastructurally mediated flows of water, energy, waste, communication, people, goods and services. Networked infrastructures have become increasingly critical for urban life. Their smooth operation is a prerequisite for social well-being, economic prosperity and political stability in our cities.

However, their smooth functioning is not a given. Due to their complexity, interconnectedness and strong interdependency, these systems are highly vulnerable. The failure of a subsystem or system components can cause serious cascading malfunctions within and across the system boundaries. Obviously, there is a need for protecting critical infrastructures, considering their specific characteristics as socio-technical systems and their embeddedness in urban space. Besides engineering, the social sciences and the humanities provide important perspectives in assessing the challenges and requirements of critical infrastructure protection. Such protection strategies have to take into account the criticality, vulnerability, and resilience of critical infrastructures in their interrelatedness with, and embeddedness in urban space.

The Research Training Group KRITIS at the Technische Universität Darmstadt will bring together civil engineers, computer scientists, urban and spatial planners, architects, sociologists, political scientists, historians and philosophers as well as practitioners from public administration and operators of critical infrastructures to elucidate multidisciplinary perspectives on the protection of urban critical infrastructures.

The aim of the conference is to elucidate five different perspectives on urban CI protection in multidisciplinary panels. These perspectives are:

Each panel consists of invited speakers from the Research Training Group as well as from further experts.

Additionally, there will be three keynote lectures by internationally renowned scholars, namely

  • Per Högselius (KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm)
  • Christoph Lamers (State Fire Service Institute North Rhine Westphalia)
  • Jon Coaffee (University of Warwick, Coventry; New York University)


Here you can find the complete programme.