Doubling Down on Infrastructure
But the repair and replacement of these monumental infrastructure systems in their current configurations does not reflect social, environmental, and technological advances that have occurred over the last half century. That task requires what might be called WPA 2.0—the framework of that massive undertaking, but infused with new thinking about the environment and resilience, to make future infrastructure longer-lasting and with greater economic payoff.
. . . As towns and cities now work to manage aging infrastructure that is incapable of handling impacts of more frequent storms and rising seas, they have a huge opportunity to embrace new thinking and technology, whether in combined sewer and stormwater systems or climate resilience. Resources to address these issues should be combined for cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Expansion of new green infrastructure networks—where hard surfaces are removed, utilities are protected, and stormwater is channeled for the irrigation of public parks, gardens, and wetlands—can also mitigate and absorb floodwaters.