Soft infrastructure is all the services which are required to maintain the economic, health, and cultural and social standards of a population, as opposed to the hard infrastructure is the physical infrastructure of roads, bridges etc. It includes both physical assets such as highly specialised buildings and equipment, as well as non-physical assets, such as communication, the body of rules and regulations governing the various systems, the financing of these systems, the systems and organisations by which professionals are trained, advance in their careers by acquiring experience, and are disciplined if required by professional associations. It includes institutions such as the financial system, the education system, the health care system, the system of government, and law enforcement, and emergency services.
The essence of soft infrastructure is the delivery of specialised services to people. Unlike much of the service sector of the economy, the delivery of those services depends on highly developed systems and large specialised facilities, fleets of specialised vehicles or institutions.
Manufacturing infrastructures, including industrial parks and special economic zones, mines and processing plants for basic materials used as inputs in industry, specialised energy, transportation and water infrastructure used by industry, plus the public safety, zoning and environmental laws and regulations that govern and limit industrial activity, and standards organisations
Agricultural, forestry and fisheries infrastructure, including specialised food and livestock transportation and storage facilities, major feedlots, agricultural price support systems (including agricultural insurance), agricultural health standards, food inspection, experimental farms and agricultural research centres and schools, the system of licensing and quota management, enforcement systems against poaching, forest wardens, and fire fighting
The health care system, including hospitals, the financing of health care, including health insurance, the systems for regulation and testing of medications and medical procedures, the system for training, inspection and professional discipline of doctors and other medical professionals, public health monitoring and regulations, as well as coordination of measures taken during public health emergencies such as epidemics
Sports and recreational infrastructure, such as parks, sports facilities, the system of sports leagues and associations
Cultural infrastructure, such as concert halls, museums, libraries, theatres, studios (film studios and recording studios), and specialised training facilities
Business travel and tourism infrastructure, including both man-made and natural attractions, convention centres, hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, and other services that cater mainly to tourists and business travellers, as well as the systems for informing and attracting tourists, and travel insurance
Larry W. Beeferman, "Pension Fund Investment in Infrastructure: A Resource Paper", Capital Matter (Occasional Paper Series), No.3 December 2008
A. Eberhard, "Infrastructure Regulation in Developing Countries", PPIAF Working Paper No. 4 (2007) World Bank
M. Nicolas J. Firzli & Vincent Bazi, “Infrastructure Investments in an Age of Austerity : The Pension and Sovereign Funds Perspective”, published jointly in Revue Analyse Financière, Q4 2011 issue, pp. 34– 37 and USAK/JTW July 30, 2011 (online edition)
Georg Inderst, "Pension Fund Investment in Infrastructure", OECD Working Papers on Insurance and Private Pensions, No. 32 (2009)
Ascher, Kate; researched by Wendy Marech (2007). The works: anatomy of a city (Reprint. ed.). New York: Penguin Press. ISBN978-0143112709.
Hayes, Brian (2005). Infrastructure: the book of everything for the industrial landscape (1st ed.). New York City: Norton. ISBN978-0393329599.