Physical Lifelines play a critical role in defining our standard of living (quality of life). Physical lifelines include, Power, Water, Highways, Waterways, Railways, Airports, and Seaports. The Talk argues that as a result of use, aging and neglect, America’s Lifelines are crumbling, and so is America’s standard of living. The Talk suggests that Resilient Lifelines are the immune system of our Economy, our Safety, and our Quality of Life and that as a society, we must make steady and serious investments to constantly renew and expand our Lifelines—our lives depend on them. The idea worth sharing is that we need to orchestrate a grassroots, bottom-up, ordinary-people movement towards renewing America’s Lifelines—our standard of living is on the line. This movement is to supplement the traditional top-down process. As a society, we cannot afford to remain at an arm’s length with the crises. Solving the crises with America’s Lifelines requires all-hands-on-deck.
Dr. de la Garza is the Editor-in-Chief for ASCE’s Journal of Construction Engineering and Management; he is also the immediate past Chair of the Commission on Research at Virginia Tech. Dr. de la Garza has served as Director of the Civil Infrastructure Systems program at the National Science Foundation. Together with Wayne Crew, Director of the Construction Industry Institute, and while a Program Director at NSF, he led the effort that culminated in the report: Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Systems: A Framework for Meeting 21st Century Imperatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2009.
Dr. de la Garza served two consecutive terms as member of the National Research Council’s Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment and he is currently member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Defense Materials, Manufacturing, and Infrastructure, which discusses topics to help the Department of Defense address a range of systems-based complex issues.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx