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Infrastructure as a Deeply Integrated Sustainable Urban Project


Infrastructure as a Deeply Integrated Sustainable Urban Project

Cucuzzella, Carmela ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4677-8518 and Goubran, Sherif (2019) Infrastructure as a Deeply Integrated Sustainable Urban Project. Journal of Sustainability Research, 1 (1).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.20900/jsr20190005


This paper explores infrastructure projects that present a conscious merging between urban transformation, community development, culture, and technology through sustainable design. When urban projects successfully and meaningfully include all these dimensions, we refer to them as “blended infrastructure” projects, since they offer much more than just infrastructure. A literature review pertaining to the rejuvenation and renewal of cities reveals that infrastructure projects have the potential to be at once, smart and ecological as well as cultural and deeply integrated urban interventions. We, therefore, propose that ‘blended infrastructure’ projects are those that profoundly integrate anthropological and technological dimensions. These two poles are the basis of our analysis method. Our methodology, which includes a mapping tool, is used to cartograph a series of design projects. We select two sets of projects for analysis. First, we select “light infrastructure” projects that are not yet built, still in an imaginary phase, which have a common underlying positive intention of bringing sustainability to the city. Second, we select heavier, already built, infrastructure projects, those subjected to real-world constraints, i.e., economic, political, etc. These polarities (light and imagined vs. heavy and realized) will help test the applicability of this mapping approach on different types of infrastructures. By studying projects on either side of a spatial design spectrum, we aim to understand which types of projects have a potential to be “blended infrastructure” projects—and therefore, deeply integrated sustainable urban interventions, as key contributions to the future of our cities.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Design and Computation Arts
Item Type:Article
Authors:Cucuzzella, Carmela and Goubran, Sherif
Journal or Publication:Journal of Sustainability Research
Date:22 May 2019
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.20900/jsr20190005
Keywords:urban sustainability; sustainable design; urban infrastructure; light infrastructure; blended infrastructure; design competitions; urban resilience; urban regeneration
ID Code:985455
Deposited On:03 Jun 2019 19:02
Last Modified:03 Jun 2019 19:02
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