Civil infrastructure systems involve the design, analysis, and management of infrastructure supporting human activities, including, electric power, oil and gas, water and wastewater, communications, transportation, and the collections of buildings that make up urban and rural communities.
The field of civil infrastructure systems builds on and extends traditional civil engineering areas. Rather than focus on individual structural components or structures, civil infrastructure systems emphasizes how different structures behave together as a system that serves a community's needs. They are therefore by definition often spatial and dynamic. Problems in this field typically involve a great deal of uncertainty, multiple and competing objectives, and numerous and conflicting constituencies.
The technical aspects of infrastructure engineering must be understood in the social, economic, political, and cultural context in which they exist, and must be considered over a long-time horizon that includes not just design and construction, but maintenance, operations, performance in natural disasters and other extreme events, and destruction as well.
Infrastructure design software improves planning, design, and management workflows, streamlining projects to allow a more holistic analysis of project information. This facilitates evaluation of multiple what-if scenarios, so designers can easily weigh environmental constraints, aesthetic concerns, and construction costs throughout the lifecycle of the project.