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How the Cookie Crumbles


I recently watched a documentary called, “Life after People.” It uses sophisticated software to simulate decay of cities showing how nature will reclaim the places we live and work if Earth’s human population dropped to zero. This made me think about how much work and money it takes to keep the places we call home from crumbling around us. It may have been significantly easier to maintain cities with three-story buildings and the streets were cobble-stone. Now we have subway systems, access to running water, electricity, roads, and one hundred-story sky scrapers (or at least some combination of those).

So I went on the hunt to find what the Knowledge Network has to offer in the field of infrastructure. Here are some of my findings:

  • This case study came from a partnership between Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria, and Golden, Colorado. The strategy they implemented to address a decaying infrastructure was to defer reconstruction of the city’s worst streets and implement a new standard of maintaining the most vulnerable streets first. Read about it here.
  • A document from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for updating communities’ stormwater and wastewater infrastructure to a green infrastructure. The guide includes resources that help in making cost-effective decisions and provides case studies from communities that are already using green infrastructure.
  • Your local government may think that they made the right decisions to make everything as green and sustainable as possible, but why not double check? This blog asks you to prove your sustainability by providing an easy-to-use evaluation tool.
  • Recycled roads have been popular for some time. Olathe, Kansas, has adopted an interesting and better system of using recycled asphalt.
  • You can find more resources here, here, and here.

What is your local government doing to keep your infrastructure up-to-date and well-maintained? Share it with us below. Also, ask and/or answer questions on the Knowledge Network.

Have a great day!

Jesse Himes
Knowledge Network Intern
jhimes@icma.org