Infrastructural Monument presents the proceedings of the first of two conferences organized by MIT's new Center for Advanced Urbanism around the biennial theme of infrastructure. Held in the spring of 2013, the "Infrastructural Monument" conference gathered designers, developers, policy experts, and scholars to address the potential to leverage infrastructure design beyond the realm of transportation of goods and labor into the realm of culture, public space, architecture, and landscape form. In other words, can infrastructure transcend mere practicality and fulfill a role that is profoundly cultural? Can targeted infrastructure projects transform a city from a collection of fragments to one with a common and cohesive regional identity?
The MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism's objective is to become the world's pre-eminent cultural center about the design of metropolitan environments, by articulating methods and projects to integrate separate disciplinary agendas in architecture, landscape ecology, transportation engineering, planning, political philosophy, real estate, and technology, through a most eloquent design culture on scales ranging from the complex infrastructural intersection, to that of a neighborhood, on to the scale of an entire regional system.