The unprecedented hurricane season that flooded New Orleans and flattened much of the Gulf Coast this summer brought both catastrophe and an historic opportunity: building more-sustainable cities and infrastructure has suddenly become a hot topic. New Orleans doesn’t need only restored wetlands and stronger levees to offer protection from future hurricanes and rising sea levels. Homes and streets, highway overpasses and water pipes and power lines — all must be rebuilt. The city is fast becoming a radical experiment in redesigning infrastructure on a landscape-wide scale. In other words, the timing for Infrastructure couldn’t be better.
Brian Hayes, a senior writer at American Scientist who won a National Magazine Award in 1999, spent more than a decade on this book. The result is a brilliant, sometimes dizzying tour of this country’s built environment. It’s an avalanche of nuts-and-bolts explanations accompanied by 500 of Hayes’ own spectacular color photographs, which illuminate subjects ranging from the futuristic — like the Mojave Desert’s Kramer Junction solar... Read more