Infrastructure Must Catch Up With Climate Change

The worsening effects of extreme weather events are accelerating the deterioration of critical infrastructure, leaving communities more vulnerable.

August 4, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Sandbags in a flood with flooded buildings in background

Marc Bruxelle / Flood

Writing in Axios, Andrew Freedman highlights the urgency of building resilient infrastructure in a changing climate. Pointing to recent examples of flooding, fires, and heat waves devastating communities across the country, Freedman writes, “This summer has demonstrated again and again that our infrastructure is not sufficient to withstand the changed climate of today, let alone the impacts on the horizon.” 

“We have long designed our infrastructure as if the climate conditions and extremes of the past, such as the definition of a 100-year, 500-year or even 1,000-year flood in a particular location, would hold true in the future.” But predictive models about climate change may not accurately capture the rate of change, Freedman notes. “Some climate scientists and activists raise the possibility that climate change is already resulting in surprises missing in their models, such as the breaching of the once unthinkable temperature of 104°F (40°C) in the U.K., for example.” 

With extreme heat waves becoming more likely, fires growing more powerful, and floods affecting more places, upgrading and replacing aging infrastructure must happen at a much faster pace than previously thought.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022 in Axios

Street-level view of sharrow symbol on asphalt with parked car in background

How Sharrows Became Cycling’s Most Hated Symbol

Originally designed as a low-cost way to encourage safer road sharing between bikes and cars, the sharrow has become a symbol of the lack of commitment to protected bike infrastructure in many cities.

August 2, 2022 - Denverite

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago

Front view of Art Deco 1933 Los Angeles County General Hospital building

Massive, Vacant L.A. Hospital To Become Affordable Housing

The historic building will be redeveloped with over 500 housing units and supportive services on site.

August 1, 2022 - Los Angeles Times

Cars lined up on a street with fire burning in background

Fire Evacuation Planning at the Community Level

Wildfire planning often focuses on individual buildings, but little guidance exists for effective citywide evacuation planning.

4 hours ago - The Atlantic

Rendering of tiny houses in garden setting

Where Is Salt Lake City’s Tiny Home Village?

A proposed ‘tiny home village’ meant to serve as temporary housing for unhoused residents has yet to break ground more than a year after it was announced.

5 hours ago - KUTV

Vision Zero

How Communities Can Leverage Federal Vision Zero Funding To Make Streets Safer

Two safe streets advocates give their recommendations for how to effectively use the $1 billion in annual funding available through a federal grant program.

6 hours ago - Streetsblog USA

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.