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Infrastructure: America’s Investment for the Future

June 6, 2014
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Infrastructure: America’s Investment for the Future
Inspectors survey the I-495 bridge over the Christina River June 4, 2014 in Wilmington, Delaware. The bridge was closed indefinitely after four support columns were discovered to be tilting. William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
CityLab believes there's one simple solution for the world's biggest problems.

Overcrowding, temperamental weather, and economic instability are just a few future trends facing us whose ramifications are already being felt. Take a look around. It’s easy to see their impact through continued job layoffs and random, severe weather.

However, City Lab — a think tank at UCLA’s Department of Architecture and Urban Design dedicated to solving urban and city issues — believes that there’s one easy solution for all these problems: Infrastructure.

It goes without saying that there is always room for improvement. Anyone who’s sat for hours in traffic — whether it’s the result of emergency road construction or just simply a case of too many people on a road that’s too small at the same time — can attest that is certainly true when it comes to America’s infrastructure. An upgrade just might make life a little less stressful — all the while combating those large problems.

Here, a couple strategies created by CityLab to propel American infrastructure into the future.

• Plan for the unexpected – Anticipate and plan for any potential disaster (natural or unnatural) and act accordingly.
• Design adjustable systems – Natural disasters, stress, and extra loads should all be taken into consideration to create buildings and bridges that are malleable and flexible.
• Create an interconnected system – Most of us know what it is like to either A) be in a city where buses, cars, bikers and walkers all fight for space, or B) live outside of the city where a car is the only viable option. America should adopt an interconnected system similar to Europe where all transportation works together efficiently.

Preparing for the unknown is a difficult task — but one that is necessary. These suggestions from CityLab (see the others here) are just one approach, but, through their implementation, America could get on the fast track to a secure future — and have the ability to adjust to any potential roadblocks.

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