PlanPhilly

Infrastructure

    • PennDOT has announced 86 new and increased bridge weight restrictions in the five-county region

PennDOT launches public outreach for 2017 12-Year Program

PennDOT is kicking off its biannual update to its Twelve Year Program, which is not to be confused with a twelve-step program. While the TYP and the similarly named, much…

    • New Norman Foster designed Comcast tower currently under construction pursued a

Campaigning for more benefits from Comcast ahead of next franchise agreement

Later this year, City Council will begin a series of hearings on the city’s next 15-year franchise agreement with Comcast. The agreement, which expires this year, gives the company access to…

    • Licenses and Inspections team

Nutter Administration says L&I trainees' work was meant to update previous inspections

The Nutter Administration said on Monday that 600 building inspections performed in one week last month were part of a training exercise for nine new employees who were steps away from…

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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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