American Infrastructure: Big Ideas From Visionary Thinkers
As seen in TIME magazine, includes visionaries such as Michael Bloomberg, Geraldine Knatz, and Joseph P. Riley
TIME asked leading designers, entrepreneurs, architects and other big thinkers to share their great hope for American infrastructure. They came back with plans for today — and moonshots for tomorrow.
Joseph P. Riley
Revamp infrastructure development as we know it because communities are changing faster than ever. Everyone from hardworking engineers to community planners to our elected leaders must work across their disciplines to make investments that consider future risk and leverage the power of mother-nature by deploying nature-based solutions alongside the built environment. For example, wetlands support wildlife habitats and act as important buffers to preserve life and property during tropical storms, providing billions of dollars in storm protection. Unfortunately the U.S. lost more than 360,000 acres of wetlands in coastal watersheds from 2004 to 2009. Strengthening coastal ecosystems like salt marshes, wetlands and mangroves by protecting existing natural areas and restoring degraded habitat is particularly beneficial to vulnerable communities. These projects can bring economic and human benefits that are long-lasting and create more livable and prepared communities.
Riley, a professor at The Citadel, was mayor of Charleston, S.C. from 1975-2016