Competence Centre

for Infrastructure Economics, Public Services and Social Provisioning

Conference "Imaginaries and Strategies for Good Care and Good Housing in Times of Transformation​

23. & 24. May 2024

About the economy we need every day

The economy we need every day includes infrastructures, public services and forms of local infrastructures and social services. It is that part of a foundational economy that ensures a good life for all, enabling us to live together healthily, safely and peacefully without social, economic and ecological insecurity. The economy we need every day includes:

  • energy and water supply, waste disposal, mobility, postal services, internet services and housing
  • health and social care, child- and eldercare, education, housework and other forms of paid and unpaid care work
  • food production and supply, medical supplies, cultural services and even retail banking

This part of the economy comprises everyday foundational and essential goods and services as well as critical infrastructures for households and other institutions and organisations.

Strengthening, securing and expanding public provision is of central importance in the crisis-ridden times that we live in, from the climate and biodiversity crisis to the increasing social inequality and polarisation of our societies. In this sense strengthening infrastructures, public services and social provisioning is a cornerstone of the transition required across energy, mobility, agricultural and other sectors in order to secure basic services, create decent work and ensure social security in line with principles of social and ecological justice.

Foundational infrastructures, public services and social provisioning cannot simply be subordinated to market logics. Instead it requires comprehensive public planning, provision, financing and regulation in order to ensure a good life for all.

Exploring the Foundational Economy for a just transition. Bärnthaler R., Getzner M., Krisch A., Plank L., Strickner A. Der Öffentliche Sektor – The Public Sector. Jahrgang 49. Ausgabe 2. 2023

Greening Red Vienna: lessons for social-ecological housing provision.
Novy A., Baumgartner B., Grabow S., Plank L., Volmary H. in Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, Volume 20, 2024 – Issue 1

Foregrounding invisible foundations: (eco-)feminist perspectives on provisioning systems. Dengler C. & Plank C., Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy Volume 20, 2024 – Issue 1