photo: Tomáš Princ, reSITE
photo: Tomáš Princ, reSITE

The Cinderella Story

Osamu Okamura

Cities are gradually becoming larger and more complex technological systems that are interwoven with more and more dense and sophisticated systems of energy, transportation, and communication networks. It is no exaggeration to say that to what we see above the ground, the same amount is hidden underground – utility corridors, product pipelines, sewage collectors, distribution networks, fiber-optic cables – and often kept out of sight on the peripheries are the associated underground facilities of power stations, waterworks, sewage treatment plants, incineration plants, heating plants, technical centers, transmitters, or control centers.

How do we plan and build smart, effective, economic, and beautiful infrastructure for the future of our ever-growing cities? Isn’t it doubly true for these structures that functionality equals beauty? Isn't it true to say that they create a certain kind of public space? Even though in this country this public space is rarely under public control, it is rather notoriously underfinanced, unsuitable for the city, difficult to maintain, and often functionally and spatially ineffective. How can an unsuitable infrastructure development destroy urban life? And on the other hand, how can well thought out planning and sustainable design help us in our search for a solution? What is the impact of well-established infrastructure on the quality of life?

We have prepared an issue full of inspiring – and beautiful – urban infrastructure projects from all over Europe. We hope you will appreciate them.

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