The Shape of Infrastructure

The advent of the jet age has allowed modern man to see earth in the most stunning and insightful of ways. One such unique opportunity is the ability to see the shape of large scale infrastructure which is largely organic in form—and one we unwittingly built in nature’s image.

This experience begins shortly after liftoff. The first thing coming into view are the downtown’s sky scrapers protruding from the horizon like a sore thumb. We know this agglomeration of towering concrete behemoths marks the city’s center not only because it’s where all highways converge, but also because it’s home to the highest population densities, steepest rental rates, and the seats of various authority and power bases (all center traits to be sure).

Gaining altitude, the arterial nature of the highway system crystallizes. You see driveways flowing into streets and alleyways, roads cascading to avenues and thruways, and thruways merging into highways and later freeways and motorways –just as nature’s creeks flow to brooks which flow to streams and on to ever larger rivers. You next note cars streaming past one another in opposite directions exactly mimicking the dualistic flow of nutrients, waters, and sugars in the branches of arterial trees and indeed, like the arteries and veins coursing through our bodies.

Progressing outward to the edges of the city, you notice the orderly and colorful arrangement of homes connected to the streets of a modern subdivision. It’s interesting to note that; just as leaf’s of a tree sprout from the smallest twigs; homes are also connected the smallest of roads. Are our homes the leaf’s of a massive, city-sized tree?

Now at cruising altitude you can see across entire towns, villages, and cites –and see how their organic-like bunching and interconnections mimic the form of neurons in our minds and superclusters of galaxies in space.

As you settle back into your seat to enjoy your refreshment, you begin pondering the meaning of man and nature’s interwoven designs and quite possibly, the significance of our living in harmony with nature’s needs.

So next time you’re jetting down the runway about to break the bonds of the earthbound, pay attention because you’re about to enter the ‘air space’ of the gods and the heavenly view it affords. .0pt;m