By building infrastructure, planners want to exert control over the environment for the sake of society. Due to uncertainty and complexity, such control is always limited and can become contested. Based on a case study of replacing a pumping station, we show how planners can understand the replacement of infrastructure and what informs adequate replacement strategies amid uncertainty. The paper argues that the concepts (un)control and (re)structuring help understand replacements in the context of infrastructure planning. Infrastructure replacements are interventions on different levels which restructure existing systems, asset networks, local areas and assets themselves. Necessary information for developing a replacement strategy, exerted control or uncontrol, possible innovations and restructuring effects differ among these levels. We conclude that planners need to be cognizant that infrastructure replacements, no matter how large or small, restructure both environments and social institutions.
- Replacement strategies
- System transformation