Sustainable Airport Infrastructure: Balancing Infrastructures for the Airport Metropolis

Sustainable Airport Infrastructure: Balancing Infrastructures for the Airport Metropolis

Robyn L. Keast (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Douglas C. Baker (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Kerry Brown (Southern Cross University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0882-5.ch805
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Ongoing financial, environmental and political adjustments have shifted the role of large international airports. Many airports are expanding from a narrow concentration on operating as transportation centers to becoming economic hubs. By working together, airports and other industry sectors can contribute to and facilitate not only economic prosperity, but create social advantage for local and regional areas in new ways. This transformation of the function and orientation of airports has been termed the aerotropolis or airport metropolis, where the airport is recognized as an economic centre with land uses that link local and global markets. This chapter contends that the conversion of an airport to a sustainable airport metropolis requires more than just industry clustering and the existence of ‘hard’ physical infrastructure. Attention must also be directed to the creation and on-going development of social infrastructure within proximate areas and the maximization of connectivity flows within and between infrastructure elements. It concludes that the establishment of an interactive and interdependent infrastructure trilogy of hard, soft and social infrastructures provides the necessary balance to the airport metropolis to ensure sustainable development. This chapter provides the start of an operating framework to integrate and harness the infrastructure trilogy to enable the achievement of optimal and sustainable social and economic advantage from airport cities.
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Physical Infrastructure

Many types of physical infrastructure should be in place to enable airports to meet their new dual roles of transportation hub and regional economic facilitator. These hard or economic infrastructures include large scale installations that connect and service commercial, industrial, residential and cultural nodes of the region. Typical elements are roads, railways, utilities, ports, airports, freight and service interchanges, and of increasing importance, information and communication technology (ICT) – collectively, these provide the basis around which development is clustered and connected. Hard infrastructure provides the traditional network connectivity between the airport (the place where planes land and takeoff) and the surrounding region.

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