Sexy Infrastructure?

For an academic blog writer, a story like this might come once in a lifetime.

Listening to the radio on the way home from a day at the University, I heard a phrase that had never occurred to me before: “sexy infrastructure.”

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Feast your eyes on this; Griefswalder Straße looks so great from the rail stop.

Jim Rose, American journalist and novelist, is responsible for “Governors Want Federal Funds For Infrastructure” which features the following comments:

Governor ED RENDELL (Democrat, Pennsylvania): We have a legitimate crisis with these bridges. They’re not sexy. People can’t see them. Almost nobody driving on I-95 saw the crack in that pier. Most of you did. And it was pretty darn frightening. And we have got to get about doing this.

Excuse me? Sexy infrastructure? Bridges, by candle light? Watch your language, Ed, there might be children around. The idea of sexy infrastructure really got me thinking…

However, there is more to this than one might, at first, imagine.

Infrastructure assets such as utilities, toll roads and airports are attractive to financial bidders like banks and pension funds because of their stable cash flow despite having lower growth rates than other private equity opportunities.

However, not everyone agrees on the general level of sexiness with regard to infrastructure. Long time proponent of seeing infrastructure as anything but attractive, anti-sexy infrastructure writer Cheri Rae from the Santa Barbara View calls infrastructure the “not-so-sexy part of government work.”

At any rate, I’ll never take questions like “how’s your plumbing?” or comments like “you have nice roads in Pennsylvania” the same way ever again …

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“Nice trains!” … “Are you flirting with my infrastructure, sir?”

This entry was posted in Infrastructures in the making, New Ideas, STS, Uncategorized by Nicholas. Bookmark the permalink.

About Nicholas

Associate Professor of Sociology, Environmental Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at Penn State, Nicholas mainly writes about understanding the scientific study of states and, thus, it is namely about state theory. Given his training in sociology and STS, he takes a decidedly STS-oriented approach to state theory and issues of governance.

2 thoughts on “Sexy Infrastructure?

  1. Pingback: Infrastructure Discourse: Poorly Regulated and Explicitly Not Sexy? | Installing (Social) Order

  2. Pingback: Darkside of Innovation | Installing (Social) Order

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