The term, “infrastructure” refers to physical or organizational facilities that operate generally below (‘infra’}, behind or within socio-economic systems that support the more visible forms of human activities.  It is the behind-the-scenes or underlying structures on which our everyday lives depend.

 

 

 

 

Traditionally, roads, water, sewers, wastewater systems, and the electric grid have been the focus of infrastructure investment.  Digital communications, through cables, cell towers, satellites, as well electric charging stations for eVehicles are increasingly receiving attention as contemporary forms of infrastructure.  Perhaps even home delivery of goods can be considered infrastructure.

Since infrastructure is built to last for decades, decisions on how much of the infrastructure is needed now and will be needed decades later is critical.  Increasingly such decisions have to account for the unfolding impacts of climate breakdown.

 

Some further ideas to explore on Infrastructure:

Determine in your neighborhood or area who owns the infrastructure: private companies or public agencies.

Select two forms of infrastructure and determine how they are funded.

Is there any difference in access to infrastructure depending on who owns it?  Does the mechanism for funding limit access to the public?  Does the funding limit on-going improvements to the infrastructure?

 

Sources:

“Infrastructure” in Merriam-Webster Dictionary. bit.ly/3laFbR7

“Infrastructure: hidden but critical,” in Reports section of the current, September 2020, issue of www.irishenvironment.com

Jackie Craven, “The Importance of Infrastructure: Networks and Systems That Keep Things Moving,” ThoughtCo (3 July 2019).  bit.ly/3b8yOt3

 

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