When it comes to creating the buildings and power systems of the future, it pays to think big.
A temperamental climate is stress-testing already strained infrastructure. In Canada alone, years of underinvestment in our roads, bridges and power stations have left us facing a$150-billionbill to bring them up to scratch. In the meantime, they’re at greater risk of damage during extreme weather events. “Suddenly, we’re starting to find that they no longer work the way we want them to or the way we expect them to,” says Deb Chachra, author of "How Infrastructure Works: Inside the Systems That Shape Our World." “They’re built for a climate that doesn’t exist. The idea that we can take our infrastructure for granted is changing, because we can no longer take the landscape in which it is embedded for granted.”
Much of the work involves replacing or upgrading existing facilities to be more resilient to climate change. But the need for new infrastructure is also creating huge opportunities for innovators to push the boundaries of modern engineering and attempt construction feats that are — literally and metaphorically — groundbreaking.
Here are five of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the world, which are reimagining how we live, generate energy and get around.