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Conference paper

Within Australia, the integrated planning and delivery of infrastructure to support sustainable and equitable cities sits in tension with major governance gaps and contexts of multiple intersecting crises. In the present 'infrastructure turn', infrastructure is a major vehicle for transnational capital investment, exacerbating governance fragmentation, disconnection from broader urban planning strategies and processes, and skewing power to private sector interests. These splintered, neoliberal governance regimes weaken urban capacities for integrated planning, the representation of public interests, and dealing with multiple intersecting crises such as climate change, health crises such as pandemics, and in Australia's settler-colonial context, the responsibility to engage with planning infrastructure on unceded First Nations land. Amongst complex uncertainties, urban researchers increasingly turn to infrastructure governance as a critical topic of interest, but there are still major conceptual gaps in terms of how to understand this body of literature, and its engagement with these topics. 

To inform and ground the development of robust research and policy reflection on infrastructure governance in Australian cities, a systematic literature review was performed to understand the prevailing state of literature. The review method involved several stages of citation searches and filtering to identify a core sample of infrastructure governance literature for analysis. Three widely used databases, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar, were used to source an initial body of 2,547 unique citations, which were then manually reviewed to determine a targeted library of 384 texts, representing a core literature that made substantial commentary on infrastructure governance. Thematic content analysis was performed across this literature using NVivo software to identify the major themes, manually reviewing and validating relevant texts. More than 50 themes were deductively and inductively identified across infrastructure sectors, scales (e.g., mega-projects or networks), development stages, governance models and factors (e.g., PPPs, or transparency), or various policy aims and contexts (e.g., sustainability).

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