PlanPhilly

Infrastructure

    • Trains to New Jersey

DRPA doings: Board drops Johnny Doc, Riverlink Ferry; gains wifi and SEPTA Key access

This morning's Delaware River Port Authority board meeting was about as jam-packed and exciting as transportation authority board meetings can get, replete with (extremely respectful) demonstrators, (long-planned) approvals for major projects,…

    • Leslie Richards

Tom Wolf picks MontCo Commissioner and DVRPC Chair Leslie Richards to head PennDOT

Governor-elect Tom Wolf announced today his choice for Department of Transportion secretary: Montgomery County Commissioner and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Chair Leslie Richards. She will need to be confirmed by…

    • The Streets Department plans to replace the bridge beginning late next year

P3 project to replace 558 PennDOT bridges starting this summer

PennDOT has finalized the contract terms for its $899 million Rapid Bridge Replacement project with Plenary Walsh Keystone Partnership. With the legal details set and contracts signed, construction to replace 558…

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ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE

Infrastructure like roads, water pipes, and sewage systems is simultaneously the most crucial element of urban form while also being the least appreciated.  These forms often run below ground and out of sight and are typically paid for by government agencies, so builders and users alike often take their efficient construction for granted.  However, most infrastructure is very expensive to produce and absolutely necessary for successful urban design. Though its form is rarely seen or acknowledged when it’s working properly, its function can make even the most beautiful of streets an experiential nightmare.  It represents the building blocks of our built environment, and therefore typically comes first in most urban construction.


An important discourse on infrastructure planning, especially in today’s times of factoring energy consumption into the planning process, comes from the suburbs, where low-density developments are built on undeveloped land without previously laying the infrastructure foundation necessary to ensure that the homes are habitable. The sprawl requires local governments to extend public services out to reach these faraway developments, the cost of which can be exorbitant.  In fact, the square footage necessary to connect these distant communities often yields projects that are too expensive to cover with tax payments.  The current trend in planning toward “smart growth” initiatives encourages building in previously developed areas.  These areas are typically well-served by traditional forms of infrastructure.  This infrastructure provides important connections, but it is often aging and therefore requires millions of dollars in upkeep and maintenance, which city governments cannot afford on their own.  This is why infrastructure was central in President Obama’s economic revitalization strategy, highlighted by the “stimulus” bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE

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