Youen’s research is focused on urban distribution networks for sewage, water and heat in cold climate regions. He currently studies an innovative solution consisting in the common installation of water, sewer, and 4th generation district heating pipes in a single shallow trench. In this way, the heat carried by the district heating pipes can be used to prevent the sewer and water pipes from freezing during the winter. The solution has the potential to greatly reduce the construction and maintenance costs of these facilities in comparison with traditional deep-buried pipe systems. His work aims at developing knowledge and engineering tools for the election, design and management of the system. Youen’s first research activity is the investigation of the thermal behaviour of the system using numerical modelling and temperature monitoring of a case study in Kiruna, Sweden. His second research activity is to assess the sustainability of the solution considering its life cycle cost, environmental impact, socio cultural aspects and technical function. The solution is compared in term of sustainability with more traditional distribution systems for sewage, water and heat in cold climate regions. As a third research activity, Youen evaluates different maintenance and renovation strategies through the lifecycle of the system using asset management approaches.