Infrastructure and Lifespans

[Demolition of the Trojan Power Plant, Oregon, 2006, after 16 years of service.  Image via flickr user snowbeard]

“90 percent of the 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S. are already more than 20 years old and half have been operating for more than 30 years

62 nuclear powerplant have been granted 20 year extensions beyond their 40 year life spans

20 more requests for extensions are pending”

[Wastewater leaking from a broken sewer main, New Orleans, 2011.  Source]

“10% of sewer pipe in the U.S. is classified as poor, very poor or life elapsed

Sewers spill an estimated 1.26 trillion untreated gallons of sewage every year”

[The U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers recently conducted flood scenario planning for California’s Lake Isabella Dam.  Image from the New York Times]

“17.6% of dams in the United States are rated “potentially high hazard”

The quotes above are a tiny portion of data pulled from OPSYS/Alexandra Gauzza’s dense infographic, Infrastructure Lifespans:

This comes as a sneak peak into this weekend’s Landscape Infrastructure symposium at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, as well as a peek into Pierre Bélanger’s forthcoming book, Landscape Infrastructure: Urbanism beyond Engineering, which based on earlier discussions, I’m quite curious about.

A PDF describing the symposium as well as an unadulterated, high resolution copy of the lifespan graphic is available here.


  1. Great post Brett. I believe that the potential for landscape infrastructure is large. It offers a more complete, more effective, and –probably– more cost effective way of building the infrastructure that we need and making it more reliable, repairable, and better connected to the average individual (who currently receives little feedback from the system on the impact from the waste that they generate).

  2. Reblogged this on Urban Choreography and commented:

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