Infrastructure Ecology

People are moving from rural to urban landscapes at unprecedented rates. Cities are complex collections of infrastructure elements which, when they interact with each other, the local environment, and human social structures, exhibit the emergent properties of ecological systems. We contend that the best path toward urban sustainability lies within the understanding of urban infrastructure as an "Infrastructure Ecology." This new discipline will re-engineer urban infrastructures to maximize the production of comfort and wealth, while reducing the system-wide use of resources and generation of wastes, and increasing their sustainability and resilience to shocks.