A soaring bridge is an obvious infrastructural feat, but so are the mostly hidden reservoirs, transformers, sewers, cables, and pipes that deliver water, energy, and information to wherever we need it. When our infrastructural systems work well, they hide in plain sight, but when they fail, they become unignorably visible, upending our daily lives. Under the cumulative effects of short-sighted approaches, systemic neglect, and the growing impacts of climate change, these systems are breaking down in ways that range from the minor to the catastrophic and leaving no communities unaffected.
Engineering professor and author Deb Chachra reveals how these essential utilities work: where they came from, what it takes to keep them running, how much we rely on them—and who pays the costs. And she shows how we can transform our shared infrastructure to be not just functional, but also equitable, resilient, and sustainable.
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