Highway Construction and Racism
“What is the connection between highway construction and racism?”
Highways are on the staple features of modern American life. They allow for large numbers of vehicles to be uplifted and transported through the air. But how exactly where these pieces of infrastructure created? Well, since these highways need a foundation, area needs to be cleared. And since these highways were made in urban areas, communities with the least amount of systematic power were selected to be cleared. This displaced a multitude of communities of color in the U.S and forced many more to live in polluted environmental conditions that still stand today. This is the connection between Highway Construction and Racism.
And don’t forget, #BlackLivesMatter
How Increasing Diverse Representation in Infrastructure Engineering Would Improve the Profession
“How would increasing the amount of diversity in infrastructure engineering improve the profession?”
Due to discriminatory power structures, the field of infrastructure engineering is quite uniform in terms of its demographics. This means that individuals coming from communities that are not well-represented will have fewer opportunities to make their voices heard during critical matters. This can be seen in events such as highway construction in the United States, where entire neighborhoods of black and brown communities were bulldozed to make room for these structures. These actions have left us with rotting and inequitable infrastructure that hurt all communities. To change this, increasing diverse representation in infrastructure engineering would allow such individuals to be in charge of high-level decisions and ensure that community safety is not violated. This is How Increasing Diverse Representation in Infrastructure Engineering Would Improve the Profession.
And don’t forget, #BlackLivesMatter
Why Infrastructure in Marginalized Communities Will Fail Disproportionately During Climate Change
“Why will infrastructure in marginalized communities be destroyed more during climate change?”
Infrastructure in marginalized communities is disproportionately in a worse state due to negligence from higher echelons of power. With the advent of climate change, this infrastructure is going to become even more damaged since not only are these same communities typically on the frontlines but the money reserved for climate impacts will mostly go towards wealthier communities. This is Why Infrastructure in Marginalized Communities Will Fail Disproportionately During Climate Change.
And don’t forget, #BlackLivesMatter
“How can cities be designed to absorb water from floods instead of block it?”
With rising sea levels and rain penetration due to climate change, cities are looking for ways to adapt. Although the most popular methods typically involve building massive pieces of infrastructure such as sea walls, more natural ways to solve this are available. One innovative way is to remodel urban areas as Sponge Cities. Sponge cities are cities with large volumes of greenery that can absorb any torrent of water. These green spaces can range from gardens to green roofs to simple porous designs. Sponge cities not only make municipalities more resilient to climate change but also prevent discharge of polluted water, increases biodiversity, and improve quality of life.
Image credit http://www.sciencefriday.com
How Prefabricated Housing Creates Resilience for Communities
“How does prefabricated housing create resilience for communities?”
Prefabricated housing represents a paradigm shift in the construction industry. No longer do projects have to rely on intricate designs and supply chains, now they are free to use a general template that can be replicated with ease. Not only is this more sustainable due to using fewer resources, but it also allows for greater resiliency in many ways. More houses can be built at a quicker rate for less investment, allowing for refugees to move in en-masse. These homes can also be built to the latest resilience standards, and parts can be easily replaced in case of a disaster due to their mass-produced nature. Finally, their simplified construction supply chain makes them less poised for disruption. This is How Prefabricated Housing Creates Resilience for Communities.
Image credit inhabitat.com
How to Build Resilience Against Fire-Inducing Winds
“How can we make our communities more resilient against fire-inducing winds?”
Strong winds have the potential to induce wildfires in hot dry climates. This threat will only be magnified by the transformed weather conditions induced by climate change. So how can we make our communities more resilient against these fire-inducing winds? Well, there are multiple ways of accomplishing this. First, more accurate weather prediction services can be developed so people can have a better sense of when strong winds are present. Another way is to develop microgrids connected to distributed energy resources to ensure a steady flow of electricity when the main grid has been shut down by the utility. Utilities can also underground transmission lines to insulate them against the effects of strong winds. These are only a few ways that we can think about How to Build Resilience Against Fire-Inducing Winds.
Image credit images.newscientist.com
How the Increased Frequency of Droughts Will Put Pressure on City Water Infrastructure
“How will the increased frequency of droughts add stress to a city’s water infrastructure?”
As the climate is changing, more and more cities around the world will have to deal with the effects of drought. This means that less water will be available for municipal services, placing a strain on infrastructure. This effect can already be seen in cities around the world, whether it be Cape Town’s Day Zero crisis or Chennai running out of water. This is How the Increased Frequency of Droughts Will Put Pressure on a City’s Water Infrastructure.
Why Urban Heat Resilience Needs to Be Equitable
“Why must equity take paramount importance when we design urban heat resilience?”
With the increase in average global temperatures and the densification of metropolitan centers, urban heat resilience will become a greater issue for the world. However, engineers and urban planners must keep in mind that the most vulnerable people in society, particularly seniors, young children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities and medical conditions will be the most susceptible to extreme heat. Resilience techniques that do not take these elements of society into account or ignore their needs will actively hurt them. For example, if all of the resources go to greening the wealthy districts of a city, then none will be left for people of lower-income areas. Since it is the duty of resilience professionals to ensure the safety of those most affected by climate change, it is only understandable Why Urban Heat Resilience Needs to Be Equitable.
Continuity of Operations Plan
“How can a facility cope in the face of a disaster?”
Calamities strike all the time, whether it be in the form of a natural disaster or a power outage. To build resilience, institutions should develop a Continuity of Operations Plan, which details how to operate a facility during such events.