Infrastructure by Design
By Marc Verheijen.
A city’s infrastructure—its tangle of streets, tunnels, routes and lines—can be much more than a mere functional necessity or an ad hoc constellation. Designed and constructed carefully and purposefully, "infratecture" can add significant sociological, cultural, ecological and economic value to a city. In this volume, Rotterdam-based traffic engineer, academic and architect Marc Verheijen discusses the infrastructure of cities from 15 different perspectives and features 30 examples of international best practices in infrastructure design. A practically oriented book about designing and building everything from roads and viaducts to environmental habitats and noise barriers, Infratecture is also an argument for these integrated design solutions, all the more urgent at a moment of accelerated global urbanization. Infratecture argues that, with the right mind set, genuine cooperation and sophisticated design, infrastructure can form a significant, and positive, part of the everyday environment.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
For Rotterdam city planner and former OMA manager Marc Verheijen, a city’s web of streets, tunnels, bridges, paths and rail lines is ripe with potential. He argues that the channels people use to move their goods and themselves – the design of which he calls 'infratecture' – are the crux of the cultural, ecological and economic changes that are needed to prepare cities for the future. The author presents 30 international case studies that spotlight the joint efforts of designers, engineers, planners, government and even citizens, grouped by such themes as Transfer, Bridging and Art. Some are familiar, including New York’s Grand Central Terminal (a building integral to the city’s transit system); others less so, such as Lyon’s years-long plan to move 12,000 parking spaces from the city’s streets, a manoeuvre that eased crowding and made the city safer and more enjoyable for pedestrians. Verheijen’s concise examples, amply illustrated with photographs and diagrams, make for a vivid reminder of how design is key to a livable urban environment.