Some photos draw you in and don’t want to let you go, so you spend entire minutes (that feel like small eternities) sitting transfixed, with your eyes on the screen. That’s exactly the feeling we get when we look at the pics featured on this subreddit that’s entirely dedicated to showing off the beauty of infrastructure. After all, (and let’s be cheesy here for a moment) infrastructure doesn’t just connect us together physically—it also connects our hearts through the mutual adoration of aesthetics.
And while the internet watchdogs might censor the full name of this particular online community, what they can’t hide is the love that we feel for beautiful and artistic photos. We’ve collected some of the best photos from the ‘Infrastructure’ subreddit, the home to nearly 225k members, for you to enjoy. So scroll down, upvote your fave photos, and let us know if these images have seduced you away from your (and my) true love—cute cat pics.
According to anthropologist Margaret Mead, however, the first sign of civilization in a culture isn't something that we make (like fishhooks or clay pots); it's how we act towards others. Specifically, our compassion.
I had a chat about infrastructure challenges and problems with an expert from Sweden with a background in urban planning who preferred to remain anonymous because of the sensitive nature of her work. She told Bored Panda that these challenges depend on whether or not we're looking to build an entirely new settlement or expand the infrastructure of an existing city. What's more, the expert touched upon the fact that we should keep in mind the balance between service reach and health risk factors such as pollution, and how the focus on car-centric infrastructure in the United States and Canada can be seen as a failure. Read on for the full interview.
Holland, Michigan's Downtown Has Heated Streets And Sidewalks That Melt Snow And Ice. The System Utilizes Wastewater From A Nearby Power Plant Which Circulates Through 120 Miles Of Plastic Piping Underneath The Pavement. It Can Melt An Inch Of Snow An Hour Even At 20 Degrees Fahrenheit
According to the urban planning expert, the challenges that people face when building a new city include finding the right placement for the infrastructure, from large roads and power lines to power plants, water treatment plants, and more. The expert pointed out that it's all a balancing game where you have to place the infrastructure close enough to residential areas to increase the service reach, yet also keep it as far away as possible to reduce pollution, noise, and other factors that can cause health risks.
"The challenges associated with developing infrastructure for an existing city are similar yet even more complicated because an agreement is necessary with already-established residents. With all the aforementioned health factors, naturally, no one would be happy about hosting a facility nearby," the expert told Bored Panda.
"Technical problems, such as the quality of the soil and urban density of an area, are always challenging for laying pipes and cables required for services such as electricity, fiber optic internet, heating, sewerage, water, etc. Developing infrastructure often poses a challenge of balancing the installment and laying cost against the longevity and life cycle cost."
The Swedish urban planning expert highlighted to Bored Panda a couple of examples of what badly-designed infrastructure looks like: freeways and stroads (no, no, that's not a typo! Stroads are roads that are too wide and fast to be safe for pedestrian safety and too narrow and slow for efficient car movement). "It’s a widely accepted fact that the late 20th-century approach to mobility, mostly realized in North America, roads being catered to cars and not people, has been a great failure," she said.
"It is completely detrimental to the vibrancy of city life, as wide and sidewalk-less freeways, and so-called stroads, make walking impossible as a means of travel from A to B around the urban area," she pointed out that this also negatively affects other modes of transportation like biking or using public transport. What's more, this leads to the overuse of private vehicles and increases safety risks.
An Archipelago In Norway
Ecoducts, Railway, Highway, Roads, Walkways... In Breda, The Netherlands
Anthropologist Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a thighbone that had healed after being broken. That's because it shows that somebody stayed together with the person who broke their femur and helped them recover. In Mead's opinion, civilization starts there because it shows the contrast between human beings and the rest of the animal kingdom which lives by the law of the jungle where it's survival of the fittest all the way through.
That's not to say that animals aren't compassionate toward each other (they are), but it takes around six weeks of rest for a femur to heal without modern medicine and that's a very long time to spend with a wounded member of the pack who can't feed itself, contribute to the group, or protect itself from predators.
A Partial View Of The 30km Long Houtribdijk Dam In The Netherlands. Again, Leave It To The Dutch!
The ‘Infrastructure’ subreddit, founded way back in 2011, is exclusively dedicated to (yup, you guessed it) pictures of infrastructure. From paved roads and other public transit to agriculture, freight, waste management, and water systems. And far more!
You’ve got bridges and tunnels! Sewers and electrical grids! Telecommunications and all the other physical interconnected systems that improve our lives.
Infrastructure encompasses all the marvels of human ingenuity and engineering that make living life far easier and all the things that we really don’t want to do without. Infrastructure is what keeps us worrying about first-world problems instead of how we’ll get water today when the local spring is ten miles away and goes through a pitch-black forest full of hungry wolves.
The Storseisundet Bridge In Norway
The more you think about it, the more the term ‘infrastructure’ seems to touch. So while we’ve got hard infrastructure that we can touch and physically use like roads, we’ve also got soft infrastructure that isn’t as tangible but is still vital to the health and welfare of any local community.
Some examples of soft infrastructure can include our network of institutions that are responsible for our economy, public health, social order, and cultural standards. From law enforcement and emergency services to educational programs and even… parks and recreational facilities! These might be far harder to take a photo of, but they’re still essential to civilization. After all, roads and streets mean nothing if you don’t have people working to help each other in whatever way they can best apply their particular set of skills.
Dudhasagar Falls (Sea Of Milk), Goa, India
The Delta Works In The Netherlands, Consisting Of 13 Parts, Together Form The Largest Storm Surge Barrier In The World And Was Declared One Of The Seven Wonders Of The Modern World By The American Society Of Civil Engineers
Another Scale Of Infrastructure, These Salmon Stairs In Sweden
Electric Elevated Railway (Suspension Railway) , Wuppertal, Germany
Cykelslangen (The Bicycle Snake), Copenhagen, Denmark
Project Engineers Demonstrating The Cantilever Principles Of The Forth Bridge In Scotland, 1887
Three Undergound Metro Lines Crossing Eachother At The Place De L'opéra In Paris
Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
Solar Power Plants In The United States Photographed By Bernhard Lang
The Beipanjiang Bridge, Spanning The Nizhu River In China At A Height Of 565 Metres
My Developing Country Of Georgia Has Been Renewing Its 20th Century Rust Oven Fleet, With An Armada Of Brand New Electric Buses. Pedestrian Life Just Got Easier
The Tuned Mass Damper Of Taipei 101 Skyscraper. A Tuned Mass Damper Is A Device Mounted In Structures To Reduce The Amplitude Of Mechanical Vibrations. Their Application Can Prevent Discomfort, Damage, Or Outright Structural Failure
Note: this post originally had 152 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.