Public Works vs Infrastructure

This episode of 99% invisible calls for us to reclaim the term “public works” which, according to Henri Petroski, was superseded in the 1980s by the term “infrastructure”. According to Petroski, public works became a pejorative term seen to be associated with dodgy backroom deals between politicians and business men. At the same time, the rise of “infrastructure” in the US coincided with the neoliberal moment and the shrinking of government and the privatization of public works.

It’s only 16mins, but an interesting listen.


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