Definition of Infrastructure: Meaning, Types, Components, and Examples

What is meant by infrastructure ( infrastructure )? In general, the definition of infrastructure is all basic structures and facilities, both physical and social (for example, buildings, roads and electricity supply) required for the operation of community or company activities.

Another opinion says that the meaning of infrastructure is all types of facilities needed by the general public to support various community activities in daily life. In other words, infrastructure is all facilities, both physical and non-physical, that are built by the government and individuals to meet the basic needs of society in the social and economic sphere.

Infrastructure generally refers to the physical development of public facilities such as; roads, airports, ports, electricity, telecommunications, clean water, sewage treatment, hospitals, schools, and so on. In addition, infrastructure also refers to technical matters that support community economic activities , such as; modes of transportation, distribution of goods and services, and others.

Read also: Economic System

Understanding Infrastructure According to Experts

In order to better understand what  infrastructure is , we can refer to the opinions of the following experts:

  1. N. Gregory Mankiw

According to N. Gregory Mankiw (2003), in economics, the meaning of infrastructure is a form of public capital which consists of public roads, bridges, sewer systems, and others, as an investment made by the government.

  1. Neil S. Grigg

According to Neil S. Grigg (1998), the notion of infrastructure is a physical system that provides means of drainage, irrigation, transportation, buildings and other public facilities needed to be able to meet various kinds of basic human needs, both social and economic needs.

  1. Robert J. Kodoatie

According to Robert J. Kodoatie (2005), the notion of infrastructure is a system that supports social and economic systems which simultaneously connects to environmental systems, where this system can be used as a basis for making policies.

Read also: Economic Growth

Types of Infrastructure

From the explanation above, it is known that infrastructure is an asset (physical and non-physical) designed in the system to be able to serve the community. Referring to the notion of infrastructure, several types of infrastructure are as follows:

  1. Hard Infrastructure

These are all infrastructure associated with the construction of physical public facilities. Some of which are included in the hard infrastructure including;

  • Highway
  • Airport
  • Railway
  • Port
  • Irrigation canals
  • And others
  1. Non-Physical Hard Infrastructure

These are all infrastructure related functions of public utilities. Some of which are included in non-physical hard infrastructure including;

  • Provision of clean water
  • Provision of electricity supply
  • Provision of telecommunications networks
  • Provision of energy supply
  • And others
  1. Soft Infrasturktur

Soft infrastructure is all that is related to systems, values, norms, regulations, and public services, which are provided by various parties, especially the government. Some of which include soft infrastructure including;

  • Work ethic
  • Traffic regulations
  • Quality public service
  • Legal laws (trade, marriage, etc.).
  • And others

Also read: Supply Chain Management

Infrastructure Components and Examples

Infrastructure built by the government and the private sector consists of various components that support one another. According to the P3KT (Integrated City Infrastructure Development Program), the following are some of the infrastructure components:

  1. City planning
  2. City rejuvenation
  3. New city construction
  4. City road
  5. Drinking water
  6. Drainage
  7. Wastewater
  8. Garbage
  9. Flood control
  10. Housing
  11. Village improvement
  12. Improvement of market area infrastructure
  13. House for rent

Meanwhile, according to APWA ( American Public Works Association ), the infrastructure component consists of the following:

  1. Clean water supply system: reservoirs, water storage, transmission and distribution, water treatment facilities.
  2. Wastewater management system: collection, treatment, disposal and recycling.
  3. Solid waste management facilities and management systems.
  4. Flood control facilities, irrigation drainage, water catchment areas.
  5. Cross water facilities and navigation systems.
  6. Transportationfacilities : roads, railways, airports, including traffic signs and control facilities.
  7. Public transit system.
  8. Electrical system: production and distribution to society.
  9. Communication facilities and systems.
  10. Natural gas facilities.
  11. Public buildings: schools, hospitals.
  12. Public housing facilities
  13. Recreation areas; city ​​parks, playgrounds and stadiums.

Referring to the benefits of infrastructure for the community, several of the components mentioned above can be grouped into three characteristics, namely:

  • Components that generate input / input for the community. Some fall into this category for example; electricity supply, clean water facilities.
  • Components that take output / output from society. Some that fall into this category for example; drainage channels, landfills, sanitation.
  • Components that can provide input and take output from society. Some that fall into this category for example; communication networks, highways.


Leave a Comment