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Infrastructure

noun: the personnel, buildings or equipment required for an activity

Fifty years ago, TV rabbit ear antennae received broadcast signals and home phones were connected by cables to telephone poles. Today, underground fiber optic cables convey data to modems, computers, telephones, televisions and gaming equipment.

Yet we continue to rely on aging systems — water and sewer, roads and bridges, and electrical delivery. The cost of fixing and replacing infrastructure continues to increase at alarming rates.

How, where and what should we invest in new facilities, and how do we pay to upgrade our aging infrastructure?

QuickFacts

2,000miles of road in Montgomery County
5,500miles of water main lines in Montgomery County
5,300miles of sewer main lines in Montgomery County
167millions of gallons daily of drinking water produced by the Patuxent and Potomac filtration plants

ReThink Speakers

Our speakers talked about making (or trying to make) the suburbs more bike friendly for cyclists, both commuters and recreational riders. What are the connections we can make in our plans, policies, maintenance and management structures that will build a long-term commitment to making Montgomery safely and enjoyably bike-able?
Speakers: Casey Anderson (Washington Area Bicyclist Association), Richard Layman (Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space). Watch. (04/15/2010)

Learn more about the speaker series.

Past Speakers

Ken Pensyl, Administrator of the Sediment, Stormwater, and Dam Safety Program at the Maryland Department of the Environment. (02/19/2009)

Neil Weinstein, Executive Director of the Low Impact Development Center in Beltsville, MD. (10/08/2009)

Sam Zimmerman, spoke on the benefits of bus rapid transit, a system with a dedicated lane for express buses, and urban style development. (06/05/2008)

Andrew Brunhart, General Manager for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). (09/27/2007)

Chris Nelson, Co-Director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech University's Alexandria campus. (04/05/2007)

QuickLinks

A Thumbnail History - Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
the water and sewer system in Montgomery and Prince George's County

Power Hungry - Reinventing the U.S. Electric Grid
aging energy infrastructure

System at a Crossroads: Rethinking Infrastructure and Mobility - MIT Faculty Newsletter
rethinking infrastructure and mobility

A Greener Future?
talks on sustainability and strctures

The Infrastructurist
America under construction