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What’s critical about critical infrastructure?

Wendy Steele and colleagues write in The Conversation (3.4.17) that critical infrastructure is our means of survival as an urban species. The authors argue that government and planners must properly identify which infrastructure is critical, for whom, and how it might fail us.

‘Our cities and regions depend on the critical nodes and arteries that together comprise urban infrastructure systems. This includes energy, food, water, sewerage and communications.

‘The positioning of critical infrastructure is crucial to our understanding of the world we live in and how we see ourselves. It’s our means of survival as Homo urbanis.

‘This means key questions around critical infrastructure need to be better considered. How is it critical, when and for whom?

‘… So how do we decide what is critical and what is not? To arrive at an answer we must consider not only physical or informational assets, but the inclusion/exclusion of communities, places and values.

‘How can we better recognise and integrate natural ecosystems as critical to human survival and flourishing? How do we do this amid infrastructure privatisation and securitisation? And where are the points of resistance and pathways for alternative action?’

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