Institute for Sustainability

Integrated Infrastructure

Integrated Infrastructure

Transforming methods used to design, implement and manage our transition towards integrated infrastructure systems so they better serve the needs of society, and ensure positive interactions with the environment.

Newcastle University is ideally placed to shape the future of infrastructure systems. Researchers are delivering international quality research and demonstrating solutions capable of carving a path to a more sustainable future.

Particular research strengths in sustainability for infrastructure include:

  • low carbon transport
  • earth systems engineering
  • smart grids and energy storage
  • low carbon energy
  • water engineering
  • big data and cloud computing
  • sustainable urban and rural planning
integrated infrastructure systems

What is integrated infrastructure?

Energy, transport, water and other infrastructures essential to development are normally treated separately in both urban and rural environments. By integrating them we acknowledge the interdependencies they share to achieve sustainability.

Integrated infrastructure has a wide range of benefits:

  • increases resource efficiency
  • reduces pollution
  • improves the natural environment
  • enhances quality of life

Integrated infrastructure contributes to a sustainable way of life that also has enormous socio-economic importance.

It enables society to address:

  • resource challenges
  • population increases
  • climate change
  • natural hazards
Integrated infrastructure - green infrastructure
Vegetated curb extension for capturing storm water runoff that also increases pedestrian safety.


Researchers are leading a range of projects on integrating infrastructures. From developing support tools that inform analysis, planning and design of infrastructure to environmental monitoring and modelling of urban systems.

Examples of research in Integrated Infrastructure:

Climate change

Climate change itself presents a series of challenges to how society plans infrastructure in the future. In response to these sustainability challenges researchers have completed fine-grained geographic analyses of climate change impacts in Europe.

Smart grids and energy storage

Smart grids are the future of how we transmit, control and store electrical energy. Researchers are testing smart grid solutions and ways to manage the transition to low- carbon energy generation via Newcastle Helix (formerly Science Central) and the Customer Led Network Revolution project. Both are helping to pave the way for a low-carbon energy network in the UK.

Integrating urban infrastructures

Improving the delivery of sustainable infrastructure and the services they provide in cities requires new business models in sustainability that exploit its multiple benefits. Researchers are re-thinking the value of infrastructure tapping social, environmental and economic opportunities. They are also developing regional urban models that integrate ecosystems, urbanisation, transport, buildings and energy.  


Integrated Infrastructure - energy storage test bed
Energy storage test bed in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Newcastle University

Further information

Read more about Integrated Infrastructure Systems (PDF: 134KB)