Global Context

ROADS TRUMP RIVERS IN AUSTRALIA: “The question is: can we not reorient the infrastructure model to protection and restoration of waterways? We need to turn urban streams back into functioning ecosystems,” wrote Bruce Lindsay, Environmental Justice Australia

“Freeways and waterways are not incompatible. But the legal privilege and financing of infrastructure is a question of priorities and perspectives and, for the sake of healthy communities and places, we need to give far greater priority to the city’s green infrastructure. The model of infrastructure laws and funding for freeways can potentially provide a model for protection, repair and restoration of urban waterways,” says Bruce Lindsay. “If it is necessary to acquire land along waterways, drive innovation in building and engineering standards, and use public finance to enable a restoration economy, then we should do it.”

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Are cities ecosystems—analogous to natural ones—of nature, infrastructure and people?

“Cities are in fact ecosystems. But one key element—the dominance of humans—makes cities different from many other ecosystems. And that changes everything: composition, processes, dynamics, functions,” wrote Marina Alberti. “By building structure and infrastructure in cities to support their needs, humans redistribute organisms and the fluxes of energy and materials leading to a distinct biogeochemistry, biotic diversity, and energy and material cycles.”

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