11 Apr 2011
In collaboration with the Next Generation Infrastructures project 'Exploring the international dimensions of infrastructures: A historical perspective', Andreas Kunz and Hans Buiter have recently published “European Communications and Transport Infrastructures: Performance and Potentials, 1825 – 2000, a Digital Atlas.” The atlas is available at http://www.atlas-infra.eu/. Researchers may use the maps for bona fide scientific purposes.
Long-term infrastructure dynamics
Infrastructures are long-lasting material structures that typically remain in function for decades. As infrastructure researchers we are mostly occupied with future developments. Yet to better understand likely future outcomes, we sometimes need to shift gaze and look at the long-term legacies of the past. To uncover such lasting remnants of the past, Andreas Kunz and Hans Buiter have taken up the challenge of exploring European communication and transport infrastructures and the flows they have supported in the 19th and 20th centuries, as part of the ESF-funded project ‘Inventing Europe: Technology and the Making of Europe 1850 to the present.’
Exploring the international dynamics of infrastructures
The atlas is in part based on data collected and cross-checked as part of the Next Generation Infrastructures project ‘Exploring the international dimensions of infrastructures: A historical perspective’. The end result constitutes an easy to use tool portraying the developments of several main communication and transport networks over a long time-span as well as the cross-border flows that have made use of them. It makes clear that the infrastructured character of our lives today has deep roots in the past, and demonstrates the tremendous growth in transnational networks and their use from 1825 until today.