Marco Ravini

Document Type







Closed system, redundancy, public agency, diverse utility, urban dysfunction, Liberty Bridge, Pittsburgh, Infrastructural Thickening, spatial, systemic and experiential utility of infrastructure




Closed system design methodologies have produced infrastructures that anticipate only a single lifetime use. This approach has burdened many urban areas with defective infrastructures in need of perpetual modification and repair. Rather than continue to over-engineer these vital frameworks to resist the inevitable failure of individual components, the next generation of public infrastructure needs to exceed its

technical specifications and seek ways to create spatial reciprocity among systems. This thesis calls for a renewed understanding of redundancy in order to strategically infuse infrastructure with public agency and diverse utility. Such an approach has the potential to yield greater systemic outputs and a more productive lifespan, allowing

future infrastructures to be positioned both as a collective good and a resilient service. Infrastructures are inextricably linked to the development of cities and the delivery of

improved living standards. These ideals are embedded within the typology of the bridge – a structure critical to the efficacy of transportation networks. Optimized to facilitate the continuous flow of people and goods, the present state of bridges forecasts a future of urban dysfunction. Over the last decade, bridges in the United States have become a significant feature in the growing crisis of public infrastructure. Built during the post-war era when the growth of transportation networks was less of an expansion and more of an explosion, many bridges have now exceeded their 50-year lifespan.

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Syracuse School of Architecture 2015

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