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Reselience and Vulnerability of Infrastructures

The modern life and economy are substantially based on a functioning infrastructure, which has been subject to serious change in the last years and will continue to be so in the near future. Infrastructures convert from “analogue hardware” to digitally supported systems. For their change, the digitalization becomes a central driver and simultaneously enables a stronger coupling of infrastructures. However, the digitalization of all infrastructures also makes them more complex and vulnerable to potential dropouts. In the electricity system, for instance, the danger of an area-wide and long lasting black out, which must be prevented, increases. Due to sector coupling vulnerabilities in other infrastructures increase as well by trend. The article provides an overview of the correspondingly named focus of the journal Ökologisches Wirtschaften, Nr. 4/2017. It discusses the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures, digital sector coupling, the consequences for the electricity system and the transport sector as well as social vulnerability.