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Environmental Sciences - Pollution and Remediation | Next Generation Infrastructure - Principles for Post-Industrial Public Works

Next Generation Infrastructure

Principles for Post-Industrial Public Works

Brown, Hillary

2014, XIV, 250 p.


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  • Includes five key principles of next-generation infrastructure that provide a clear roadmap for improving our failing systems
  • Highlights global examples of successful multi-purpose, resilient, and low-carbon infrastructure projects
  • Infrastructure in the United States is in desperate need of repair and change, especially in light of a changing climate. In 2013, the system received a grade of D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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 the electrical substations that control mass transit; curtailed gas supplies; and destroyed streets, buildings, and whole neighborhoods. For days and on into weeks, failures triggered by floodwaters deprived millions of electricity, heat, and water services.

How can our complex, interdependent utilities support an urbanizing world, subject to carbon constraints and the impacts of climate change? How might these critical networks be made more efficient, less environmentally damaging, and more resilient? Such questions are at the heart of the approaches and initiatives explored in Next Generation Infrastructure. With a better understanding of the possible connections between different services, not only can inadvertent disruptions be reduced, but crosscutting benefits and lower costs will be possible. Next Generation Infrastructure 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. Five bold organizing objectives are proposed that, in the hands of decision-makers and designers, will help bring about a future of multipurpose, low-carbon, resilient infrastructure that is tightly coordinated with natural and social systems.

In their conception and design, the innovative projects highlighted in Next Generation Infrastructure encourage us to envision infrastructure within a larger economic, environmental, and social context, and to share resources across systems, reducing costs and extending benefits. Through this systems approach to lifeline services, we can begin to move toward a more resilient future.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Climate change - Global sustainability - Infrastructure - Resilience - Urbanism

Related subjects » Civil Engineering - Pollution and Remediation

Table of contents 

Foreword by David W. Orr


Chapter 1. Introduction: Bold Endeavors Needed

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

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

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

Chapter 5. Destigmatizing Infrastructure: Design of Community-Friendly Facilities

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

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

Chapter 8. Ways Forward: Think Systematically, Experiment Locally



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