[Themaintainers] CityViews: City’s Infrastructure Needs Demand New Thinking, Broad Action

Lee Vinsel lee.vinsel at gmail.com
Sun Nov 11 09:59:29 EST 2018


Thanks so much for this. This story and your comment on it reminded me of
Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns and his critique of the American Society of
Civil Engineers, including the ASCE's infrastructure report card. We could
probably add Infrastructure Week too. Marohn argues that these efforts
serve specific professional and industrial interests, and that they
typically burden localities with infrastructure that we simply cannot

In this space, "infrastructure" often means new construction, not taking
care of what we already have. And sadder still, "maintenance" is a
euphemism not for simply restoring what already exists to working order but
to overhauling and expanding existing structures - think of roads that are
widened with new kinds of sidewalks, new control systems, etc., all of
which adds to the infrastructural debt/overhead.

Here's Marohn talking about "the infrastructure cult."
here is my favorite door into the Strong Towns world, the multi-part essay
titled "The Growth Ponzi Scheme."

Personally, I believe that the ASCE and Infrastructure Week are doing
*some* good, and we should tip our hats to the positive steps made,
especially raising awareness! But I equally believe that people like you
and Marohn are leading us to ask tough questions about whose interests are
being served by infrastructure policy. We certainly shouldn't use the word
"infrastructure" as a synonym for GOOD; nor should we pretend that advocacy
for infrastructure automatically serves the needs of *the people*.

So, all of this is a long way of responding to your question, "Maybe we
should spin up a Maintainers lobby?": RIGHT ON! YES, PLEASE!! SIGN ME UP!!!

Thanks as always,


On Sat, Nov 10, 2018 at 7:23 AM Camille E. Acey <connect at camilleacey.com>

> NYBG represents the concerns and infrastructure priorities of big
> industry...Maybe we should spin up a Maintainers lobby? 🤔
> https://citylimits.org/2018/11/08/cityviews-citys-deep-infrastructure-needs-demand-new-thinking-broad-action/
> --
> Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my
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> Themaintainers mailing list
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Assistant Professor
Department of Science, Technology, and Society
Virginia Tech
Twitter: @STS_News
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