Infrastructure matters! Really and it isn’t boring.

Seth Kaplan

Former MWRA Executive Director Paul Levy (who has worn a lot of really interesting hats in his career) provides, in CommonWealth Magazine, this really interesting take on the Boston Harbor cleanup and lessons learned from that experience can inform decisions about the slow motion implosion of the transit system of Greater Boston.  Very important reading that nicely complements the good words and insights of Peter Shelley on this blog about the Harbor cleanup.

Big questions that hang in the area include:

  • Noting that the cleanup has massively improved the harbor – if we did it all over again, would we employ a “big pipe and big plant” solution to the sewage and stormwater problem in Boston or use more local and distributed methods?
  • What lessons learned from these case studies can be applied to the electricity system?
  • What role does the existence of the massive highway system that spans the nation (and if you want to read a fascinating description of the creation of that system check out “The Big Roads” by Earl Swift) have on our other infrastructure planning and decision making?

Any thoughts on these questions?  The comments section below awaits.

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