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Über dieses Buch

The 2007 bridge collapse in Minneapolis-St. Paul quickly became symbolic of the debilitated interstate highway system—and of what many critics see as America’s disinvestment in its infrastructure. The extreme vulnerability of single-purpose, aging infrastructure was highlighted once again when Hurricane Sandy churned its way across the northeast United States. Inundating New York City’s vital arteries, floodwaters overwhelmed tunnels and sewers; closed bridges; shut down mass transit; curtailed gas supplies; and destroyed streets, buildings, and whole neighborhoods.

Next Generation Infrastructure takes a critical but ultimately hopeful look at how our infrastructure networks can be made more efficient, less environmentally damaging, and more resilient. Brown argues that, if we’re to chart a course for global sustainability, we must begin to design, regulate, and finance infrastructure that decouples carbon-intensive and ecologically harmful technologies from critical infrastructure systems, namely the essential systems for contemporary society: water, wastewater, power, solid waste, transportation, and communication. The book highlights hopeful examples from around the world, ranging from the Mount Poso cogeneration plant in California to urban rainwater harvesting in Seoul, South Korea, to the multi-purpose Marina Barrage project in Singapore.

Brown encourages us to envision infrastructure within a larger economic, environmental, and social context, and to share resources across systems, reducing costs and extending benefits. This is a must read for professionals and students interested in a more resilient urban future including urban designers, architects, urban planners, urban policymakers, landscape architects, and engineers.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction: Bold Endeavors Needed

Abstract
On August 1, 2007, four of the eight lanes of Minnesota’s I-35W highway bridge were closed to accommodate roadbed repairs. Evening rush-hour traffic was diverted into the four open lanes, creating an asymmetrical stress that compounded an underlying weakness in the bridge’s support system. When the center span collapsed, 17 of the 111 vehicles on the bridge were cast into the Mississippi River, 108 feet below, killing 13 people and injuring 145 (fig. 1-1).1
Hillary Brown

2. Toward Infrastructural Ecologies: Interconnected, Multipurpose, and Synergistic Systems

Abstract
Completed in May 2007, the 9.7-km (6-mi.) Storm Water Management and Road Tunnel (SMART), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—a densely developed city of 1.6 million—marries two seemingly incompatible uses. Most of the time, the tunnel diverts automobile traffic from the congested central business district, reducing travel time by as much as 75 percent (and reducing the associated air pollution from vehicles otherwise idling in traffic jams.)1 During heavy rains the tunnel also serves to retain stormwater from the flood-prone areas downtown. The tunnel’s 3-million-cubic-meter (105.9-million-cubic-foot) storage capacity diverts up to 90 percent of stormwater in a heavy storm.2
Hillary Brown

3. Greening Heat and Power: An Integrated Approach to Decarbonizing Energy

Abstract
Humankind has depended on carbon-based fuels for millennia—but evidence has been mounting that runaway increases in carbon-intensive activity have set in motion potentially devastating climatic effects. To avoid the most extreme consequences of climate instability, it is essential for infrastructure sectors to “decarbonize”—that is, to turn from dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas toward renewable power sources (especially green ones)—and do so within a narrowing window of time.1
Hillary Brown

4. Advancing Soft-Path Water Infrastructure: Combined Constructed and Natural Systems

Abstract
In the mid-1980s, a development boom in the southwestern parts of Staten Island, New York City’s least-populous borough, triggered overflows from combined storm and sanitary sewers, causing flooding and degraded water quality. Instead of installing a traditional gray infrastructure drainage system, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) responded with a unique, multipurpose solution tailored to the area’s hydrologic patterns. Natural wetlands and drainage corridors—known as “blue belts”—were upgraded to handle the additional functions of storing and filtering stormwater.
Hillary Brown

5. Destigmatizing Infrastructure: Design of Community-Friendly Facilities

Abstract
In 1999, when New York City advanced plans to construct the Croton Water Filtration Treatment Plant in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, it faced strong resistance from the surrounding community, largely comprised of minority and low-income residents. But the plan had powerful supporters, including downstate construction unions that lobbied heavily in anticipation of construction contracts and upstate developers who believed the plant would reduce pressure to protect upstate watershed areas.
Hillary Brown

6. Creating Resilient Coastlines and Waterways: Hard and Soft Constructions

Abstract
For 400 years the 287-hectare (about 710-acre) Abbotts Hall Farm, situated on the United Kingdom’s East Anglian coast, had been protected by a 4-kilometer-long (2.5-mile) seawall. By 2002, flooding of the Essex tidal estuary had breached this hard infrastructure many times. When OURCOAST, an integrated coastal management program sponsored by the European Commission, did a cost-benefit analysis on alternatives for repairing the wall, the results showed that the seawall should no longer be maintained; instead, it should be “deconstructed” in five locations, creating an 80-hectare (about 200-acre) “soft and flexible”’ coastal defense zone. At the Abbotts Hall Farm of today, mudflats, salt marshes, and freshwater wetlands are used to absorb tidal and wave energies and to sustain an enlarged habitat that helps support commercial fisheries. The area has also become home to salt-tolerant crops, it acts as a carbon sink, and it provides a haven for wildlife—all at a cost savings of £500,000 ($805,550) over hard solutions.1
Hillary Brown

7. Combating Water Stress and Scarcity: Augmented Sources and Improved Storage

Abstract
The effects of climate instability on water resources for irrigation and drinking are less apparently dramatic than sea-level rise and storm surges, but just as sinister. According to experts, there are already a billion individuals dependent upon groundwater sources that are “simply not there as renewable-water supplies.”1 Now planetary warming, in part caused by anthropogenic increases in CO2, is altering precipitation patterns; increasing surface water temperatures, pollution, and atmospheric water-vapor content; and reducing ice- and snowpack, groundwater-recharge rates, and soil moisture. Rising sea levels may also cause saltwater intrusion into coastal groundwater aquifers. At the watershed scale, terrestrial and aquatic agro-ecosystems throughout the world will be increasingly vulnerable to alterations in the precipitation and storage cycles.2 These changes, which are projected to continue, are already straining water resources and increasing irrigation demand.3
Hillary Brown

8. Ways Forward: Think Systematically, Experiment Locally

Abstract
This book’s introduction recounted the tragic failure, in 2007, of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis. In its place today, the St. Anthony Falls Bridge is a forward-looking piece of infrastructure that bolsters safety, anticipates alternative transit modes, trims operating energy costs, and incorporates community amenities. Like the other projects worldwide highlighted throughout this book, the new bridge embodies many of the priorities of post-industrial infrastructure. Attending to the challenges we face in the United States—the emphasis of this closing chapter—the bridge rebuilding reminds us that we have the technical knowledge and tools to move forward; what we need now is both vision and leadership to create the policy and financing vehicles to make future-proofing possible.
Hillary Brown

Backmatter

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