The Rise of Soft Infrastructure

Infrastructure is undeniably important to our cities and places, but a new kind of infrastructure -- soft infrastructure -- is becoming increasingly important.

Soft infrastructure relates to networking, communications technology, and other Internet-enabled systems. When overlaid over places and cities, the physical world takes on a new and powerful character.

"This so-called soft infrastructure tends to be invisible or disembodied, organic in behavior, and powered by data networks, not engines. But when the world's financial systems-soft infrastructure of an especially indecipherable kind-collapsed in 2009, the reverberations felt every bit as shocking as the collapse of a four-span suspension bridge. As with the disastrous opening day at Terminal 5, hard infrastructure-no matter how brilliantly designed- cannot triumph without effective soft infrastructure."

Full Story: What's Holding Us Up?

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