The Basic Understanding of Infrastructure and its Types

Written by: Amanda Price

Infrastructure is an organizational foundation that includes all manual and technical systems necessary for efficiently operating and facilitating societies. Buildings, roads, water, electricity, telecommunication, transportation are all examples of infrastructure. The development of infrastructure is necessary to provide structural support to a community. This support enables societies to grow and sustain themselves. A well established infrastructure of a society is basically the main determinant of progress and economic stability. Without infrastructure, societies will not be able to function.

The following are common types of infrastructure:

Transport Infrastructure

Transport infrastructure includes all modes of transport that enable movement of people, animals, and goods from one point to another such as vehicles, trains, buses, planes, cable, ships etc. Typically, these types of movements occur within mediums such as air, water and land. Of the many purposes transport infrastructure serves, the primary objectives are building and maintaining roads, pavements, highways and bridges.

Transport for passengers can be public or private. In public transport, passengers pay fare and use the following transportation methods: buses, trains, subways etc to commute. Public commuting usually has fixed fares or rates determined by passenger traffic. They operate along fixed routes and on a fixed schedule (with exception to taxis and private cabs). Public transport systems may be run by the government or private entities and are available to all public for use. There is also public transport available between cities and countries, which is mostly dominated by airlines.

Private transport entails personal or individual use of transport, in which the passenger rides/drives freely according to his choice of route and timing. Examples of private transport include private car, motorcycle, boat, company car etc. Private transportation refers to both methods of private transit (motorized and non motorized) such as skates, bicycles, vehicles, ships and private charters.

Freight transport is primarily containerization that manages the bulk transportation of large volumes of commodities. Freight transport overall plays an important part in facilitating economic growth and expansion; it makes trading between people possible and accessible.

Transportation enables economic productivity and development by allowing access to markets, homes, and education. It also improves and sustains health by improving access to healthcare.

Health Care Infrastructure

Public health infrastructure is a platform that undergirds facilities that prevent diseases by providing treatments and cures. It is responsible for promoting good health by planning and delivering avenues for reducing existing and developing challenges to health. Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are the basic principles of health infrastructure.

Every public health program addresses concerns and issues that are related to its range of services. A clinic, for example, carries out immunizations, routine check ups, vital signs examination etc. It also guides patients to bigger and more advanced healthcare facilities like hospitals for further treatment or evaluation. This may also include regular treatment and monitoring of infectious diseases.

Healthcare facilities include water management systems in which drinking water quality is maintained. The techniques and measures employed for the treatment of water are determined by health professionals who are qualified in performing water procedures and can identify hazardous conditions such as waterborne pathogens.

The primary pillars of a strong health infrastructure are laboratory, training centers for staff, pharmaceuticals, mechanisms for distributing resources, industries for medical and laboratory equipment, academic expertise in all areas related to health, and a web of premises that forms a system of diagnostic, curative and preventive care.
The presence of public health infrastructure allows federal agencies to support its implementation and regulate it in accordance with ethical and moral responsibilities. Government involvement also in terms of significant investments is necessary for the growth and expansion of the healthcare system altogether.

Environmental infrastructure

Environment infrastructure entails systems responsible for the provision of water and management of waste disposal. It ensures water scarcity and contamination, and other public health problems are avoided. Water distribution systems such as pipes and water plants and sewage systems are primary examples of environmental infrastructure. They serve important purposes such as maintaining the quality of the environment and water that is meant for public use. Water treatment helps prevent the spread of waterborne cholera, and other bacterial infections, while waste management systems keep the environment healthy and reduce adverse effects from various industrial operations.

The environment as a whole faces many issues as societies progress globally.
Urbanization and industrialization, for example, are directly proportional to global warming if proper measures to reduce carbon footprint are not taken. This makes it necessary for the environmental infrastructure to include planning, designing, and constructing green systems that address these concerns and prevent the degradation of the eco-system.

Public Safe Infrastructure

Public space infrastructure allows people to share urban living spaces in the form of beaches, parks, museums, public squares etc. A public space is accessible to public for leisure activities. It serves the purpose of improving the quality of life for people by encouraging personal solace, companionship and shared outing experiences. It also allows a sense of freedom with regards to movement. People roaming the streets and finding open spaces that accommodate their presence feel free and less restricted.
Public spaces kindle a sense of democracy by facilitating shared values. Public spaces creates a more inclusive, tolerant and diverse community. It establishes greater social cohesion by encouraging interaction and communication across a diverse range of people.

Public spaces improve liveability standards in healthy and cost effective ways. Since public spaces are usually free of cost to use, it helps people of all social classes integrate better and enjoy similar experiences. Public facilities reduce societal segregation by naturally enforcing social integration. When diverse people participate in dialogue, they’re able to form and maintain peaceful relations.


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