infrastructure – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: infrastructure

blue plains

Last spring, Mammoth visited the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant. This massive facility — which claims to be the largest plant of its particular kind in the world — exists to remove the solids that the 2 million residents of Washington, D.C. and surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia introduce into wastewater from their parking […]

the infrastructural district

[At the Washington Post, photographer David Deal steps inside, above, and beneath the District of Columbia’s infrastructure and other hidden spaces — the “Third Street Tunnel blower room”, pictured above; Blue Plains settlement ponds in Southwest; the specimen room at the Natural History Museum; the Hecht Company warehouse on New York Avenue; and so on.]

urban crude

While we’re working on getting this week’s Infrastructural City post up (it’s coming!), I thought it’d be worth noting that The Center for Land Use Interpretation has just launched a new online exhibition, “Urban Crude”, which explores the oil fields of the Los Angeles Basin in intimate and fantastic detail.  Oil wells sprout like hardy […]

a tertiary river

[Aerial photograph of sludge mats swirling in the Los Angeles River by flickr user Vision Aerie] As we’re about to jump scales in our reading of The Infrastructural City — from the post-natural ecologies and mining operations of the first section of the book, “Landscape”, to the networks of cell towers and cable lines featured […]

geology as infrastructure

Smudge Studio’s Geologic Time Viewer re-casts the “official Geologic Time Scale” as not only a way of looking back into the past, but also a window into the present: “the materialities of every previous geologic epoch flow into the present-as-middle and give form to our daily lives.” We learn, for instance, that iron infrastructures, like […]

feedback: architecture’s new territories

[The Bou Craa conveyor, which is similar to the Negev desert belt previously discussed on mammoth, carries phosphate across the desert in Western Sahara, leaving the wind-swept sediment shadow above, and is the longest conveyor belt in the world; seen at deconcrete, image via bing maps.] It would befuddle me if there were anyone who […]

paul kersey, yimbyist

Dan Hill has (another) excellent post at City of Sound examining what he’s referring to as “emergent urbanism”, or the “knitting together [of] the everyday loose ends in urban fabric” by community organizations and individuals acting “outside of traditional planning processes”.  I’m particularly pleased by (a) the presentation of the example of Renew Newcastle, which, […]

metropolis prognostications

[Storm surge barriers under construction near New Orleans; image source] In their January issue, Metropolis asks architects and designers to offer predictions, inspirations, and prognostications for the coming decade.   It’ll be no great surprise to readers of mammoth that I’m particularly intrigued by the predictions grouped under “landscape architecture”, which involve reconstructed storm barriers […]

the city beneath the city

Our intention for a while now has been to write a bit more about what we like to refer to as “landscapes in search of an architect”, or those places whose phenomenological, industrial, psychological, geological, and/or ecological (and that list could go on, and on) characteristics suggest to us the possibility of an exceptionally interesting […]

high-speed rail funding

The Transport Politic reviews the distribution and impact of this week’s high-speed rail funding announcement in a cautiously optimistic fashion, with the important caveat that “eight billion dollars of spending won’t be enough for even one true high-speed line”, while Infrastructurist explains why the prioritization of the Orlando-Tampa line, which is slated to receive $1.25 […]

“the landscape of contemporary infrastructure”

Urban Tick has a review of a new publication, The Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure, which catalogs a variety of (mostly high-profile) infrastructural projects designed by architects in the past couple decades. Though I haven’t read the book, the first point of critique that Urban Tick makes is quite astute and demonstrates a common problem in […]

analog civic maintenance

Jeff Maki writes at Urban Omnibus about New York City’s steam tunnels as a potential analog precursor to future mass civic participation in the maintenance of urban infrastructure, which may be an increasingly necessary  tactic, given the massive repair deficit North America’s urban infrastructures face.

simcity baghdad

[update: thanks to commenter цarьchitect, a screen capture from a demo for SIM Building, a program of the sort which likely provides the underlying architecture for UrbanSim] An unfortunately brief article in the latest Atlantic Monthly describes “SimCity Baghdad”, a video game developed for the US Army in order to train officers to navigate the […]

re-industrial detroit

An interesting article by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley at The New Republic looks at how Detroit might recover from decades of decline; this includes looking at how Detroit might be re-industrialized (the re-industrial path is an even more fascinating proposition than the well-tread path to post-industrial health, though there’s nothing mutually exclusive about the […]

the scale of infrastructural landscapes

[Another infrastructural landscape: Sosa Texcoco’s salt collector in Mexico City, via google maps] I’m still catching up on my reading after the winter break; another bit of that reading that I’d particularly recommend is Alexis Madrigal’s post on visiting the SEGS, or Solar Electric Generating Stations, located in Kramer Junction, California. Alexis reflects on the […]

the blind watchmaker

[A manhole near Halifax marks the Canadian arrival point for one of the eleven major cable lines carrying the bulk of trans-Atlantic Internet traffic; photographed by Randall Mesdon; from this excellent Wired slideshow on the physical infrastructure of the internet; the text accompanying that show is by Andrew Blum, whose forthcoming book on said infrastructure […]

post-traumatic urbanism, ii

Adrian Lahoud has a thoughtful response to mammoth‘s earlier post “infrastructural urbanism and fracture-critical networks” (itself a response to another post by Lahoud on a recent studio he led), discussing how to properly read studio proposals, the master plan “as only an incitement to conversation rather than the conclusion of one”, Lahoud’s ambivalence about the […]

on bicycling infrastructure

While this recent Infrastructurist post (entitled “Reasons Not to Bike to Work: You Can Die”) on the sad news of another cycling fatality is unfortunately an excellent example of the importance of remembering that data is not the plural of anecdote, The Next American City has an excellent post by David Alpert (of Greater Greater […]

total service delivery

The Dirt has a lengthy interview conducted by Pierre Belanger with Joe Brown, chief executive of planning, design, and development at AECOM, the architecture and engineering firm that swallowed EDAW (formerly the world’s largest firm primarily focused on landscape architecture, if I recall correctly). The interview covers a wide range of issues, from the “need […]

climate defense systems

An article from Sunday’s Washington Post discusses the development of “climate defense systems”, resulting from an increasing interest in not just climate change prevention, but also climate change adaptation.  The article is particularly focused on the Netherlands, where “the Dutch are spending billions of euros on ‘floating communities’ that can rise with surging flood waters, […]