Infrastructure

Improving Access to Urban Trails

The benefit of parks and trails is greatest for those who live closest to these resources, and a disparity in access can have significant health, social, and economic implications, while also exacerbating environmental justice concerns in communities.

Planning Public Spaces to Drive Health Equity

The social and environmental factors that influence our health do not play out in a linear way—they interact with and affect each other. We are each the product of our cumulative experience, and our health is the product of our cumulative exposures over a lifetime. For that reason, we sought to provide a holistic model for individual and community health and well-being.

Building Resilience with Microgrids and Smart Energy

In some regions, electric grids have increased capacity, become more reliable, much better at integrating distributed renewables, smarter and more resilient. In other places, serious investment is needed to reduce the risk of failure in storms and malfunctions that cause everything from wildfires to millions living for days in darkness. Microgrids are a growing part of the solution.

How Not to Shoot Yourself in the Foot: Smart Planning and P3s

When community leaders consider investments in sustainability, resilience, and smart infrastructure, they face a dilemma. Immediate priorities drive a focus on meeting short-term needs, but strategic objectives often require a big-picture outlook. Illustrative...

How Reclaiming the U.S. Infrastructure Advantage Will Help Bridge the Urban and Rural Divide

If the United States invests in strengthening its infrastructure, it can restore the critical bonds that allow Americans to freely and efficiently move goods, ideas and workers through every type of community. The U.S. equipment manufacturing industry understands this better than most. We support 1.3 million jobs across the United States, and maintain manufacturing facilities across every corner of our great nation. You can find our member companies’ equipment hard at work everywhere from construction sites in major cities to corn fields in the Midwest.

How a 17th Century City is Tackling 21st Century Problems

Our goal is to improve the quality of life as well as the quality of opportunity for all residents in the community by embracing these challenges and becoming a national test case for new technologies, delivery systems, and financial models. We also want to see how the public sector, with private and impact investors could cooperate in the development, execution and management of municipal “civic infrastructure.”

Artificial Intelligence for Roadway Maintenance

The growing autonomous vehicle fleet, together with countless truck and passenger vehicle fleets on the road now, will be instrumental in passively – read inexpensively – gathering timely, precise, and local data that is so essential to better roads. With success, the centuries old process of manual inspection will be replaced with a more cost-effective methods for monitoring roads.

Intelligent Urban Watersheds

Over the last few decades, hydraulic and hydrologic modelers have dramatically increased our understanding of urban watersheds; namely the built wastewater and stormwater infrastructure within their respective urban environments. These models have been manually tuned...

How Smart City Policy Can Support Electric Vehicles

If cities wish to obtain the environmental, public health, and quality of life benefits of electric vehicles, they will need to plan for the dramatic expansion of electric vehicle charg­ing infrastructure.

Consider Anthropology in Your Next Urban Design Project

When applied to today’s cities in a non-academic context, urban anthropology provides a kind of “outsider’s perspective” to the dominant fields of urban planning and design. An anthropologist’s brain is one that views the current age through the long arc of humanity; they see the comparison between the best and worst of the human condition, and can balance human needs with human desire accordingly. This leads to an acceptance (and appreciation) of cultural contexts, with communication and co-creation at its core.

Urban Planning in 3D: How Creating a Digital Twin Leads to Smarter Cities

“The ancients built Valdrada on the shores of a lake, with houses all verandas one above the other, and high streets whose railed parapets look out over the water. Thus the traveler, arriving, sees two cities: one erect above the lake, and the other reflected, upside down. Nothing exists or happens in the one Valdrada that the other Valdrada does not repeat, because the city was so constructed that its every point would be reflected in its mirror”
– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Commercial Real Estate Needs Sustainability Performance Reporting

There are 87 billion square feet of commercial real estate in the United States. These buildings’ owners fall into two categories: those whose primary business is owning real estate for profit from asset appreciation or rental income, and everyone else. Of all this square footage, some 60 percent is in possession of those who control real estate on a large scale, typically with assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It is this group that is most exposed to regulatory and market forces and that also has the wherewithal to do something about it. This is where it gets interesting.