Infrastructures and sustainable urban development
By forcing us to remain at home, the emergency caused by the global pandemic, still on-going, has transformed domestic space into the chance nodes in a network of exclusively remote relations. This has taught us that without our former daily movements, as trying and routine as they may often be, we are deprived of a number of events, opportunities and occasions for social interaction that, together, constitute a fundamental and irrenouncable part of how we relate to, experience and comprehend the environment around us. The mobility of people and goods thus remains one of the principal wagers for the development of contemporary societies, though with an added awareness that can be brought to the planning of future projects. Mobility infrastructures represent a precious tool for re-establishing social and environmental equilibriums, all too often brushed aside by economic or political interests. They offer a unique opportunity for improving living conditions, reducing sprawl and decay and ensuring that the entire territory is used like a city. The texts and projects presented in this issue reflect and question these opportunities. They present concrete solutions rooted in a common vision of mobility infrastructures, whether networks or nodes, as elements of a complex system, inseparable from the territories they traverse and responsible for the quality of urban space and the lives of citizens. Many of the themes coming to light under this vision are centred less on infrastructure as a technical-functional device and more on the notion of constructions with the ability to cast the form of the city according to a logic of interconnection that embraces all scales. Infrastructure not as an extemporaneous sector-specific operation, but as an integral part of a system of networks and nodes, in which each element plays a determinant role in guaranteeing the efficiency of the entire system. Additionally, the potentialities expressed by these mobility infrastructures to support urban renewal, create new public space and improve the accessibility and inclusivity of cities and territories, places them at the heart of any contemporary project. Proof is offered by numerous transformation projects around the globe, from Copenhagen to Utrecht and Casablanca, from Paris to Genoa and Milan, from San Francisco to Shenzhen.