Can Infrastructure Keep Up With a Rapidly Changing World?
What has worked in decades past won’t work again when it comes to the kind of public infrastructure that is needed in today’s world. That’s the message of engineers, scientists and other experts who say efforts to design and build sustainable infrastructure in the 21st century must be guided by a new mindset that takes into account an increasing number of evolving challenges. Mikhail Chester, a Fulton Schools associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, includes on that list factors such as climate change, economic volatility and rapid technological advances — especially in regard to integrating cybertechnologies and artificial intelligence into infrastructure systems. In addition, Chester says, it’s critical for governments to ensure social equity is enhanced and not further eroded by policy decisions that shape new infrastructure development — or the lack of it.