Within any country there is a need for proper infrastructure to be designed, built and continuously improved upon in order for the nation to grow successfully. From the UK to New Zealand and everything in between, without proper infrastructure there will be an inability of a population to have its needs met. When we think of infrastructure in this way we are talking about building roads, highways, bridges, railway stations and airports. These are all the essential building blocks that help an economy to grow.
With the correct type of infrastructure such as this a country can build effective trade links, grow business and the economy within its borders, connect workers with jobs, as well as provide ample access to simple and cost-effective transport for leisure time and for visitors from other countries. There are unique challenges in each different country however, especially as urban populations continue to grow, and with challenges in the realms of economy, the demographic of a population, fiscal and environmental to overcome it is important to have a clear mind on how to move forward effectively. Once these have been overcome and architecture and design used effectively to deliver resolutions to the above challenges, a country can improve and become a more modern, reliable and efficient country based on infrastructure of the same nature.
Think about big bridges in famous cities across the world, or large airports that service millions of people each year. Throw in large architectural marvels that sit as ‘jewels in the crown’ of a famous city skyline and it is hard to imagine those cities without them. Infrastructure in the form of tunnels and bridges that become part of the city and the urban environment, a tourist attraction as well as a functional item of architecture are fundamental to how we see communities growing effectively.
There is a balance to be had however, especially when we are discussing potential mega-infrastructure projects. In the wrong hands it can be easily moved away from infrastructure that is functional and serves its explicit purpose, but which also enriches the lives of a community in more aesthetic ways, to a project that decimates communities. There has to be a desire to maintain existing communities and thriving cultural hotspots, rather than carve up neighbourhoods that have been there for generations.
Sometimes, of course, there is no choice but to take land that has previously been used for domestic purposes and neighbourhoods, to use for larger infrastructure projects that are required in order to improve the lives of a city as a whole. There is a way to ensure that infrastructure projects of this nature and masterplanning is conducted in a way that enriches the lives of the majority of people already living in the communities that will be affected, rather than displace large swathes of neighbourhoods and residents and move people that never had any intention of leaving their homes. Communities are the vital lifeblood to every city and with growing urban populations and the need for greater infrastructure the balance can be found with correct design, architecture and masterplanning.