Andrei Codrescu’s Innovative Infrastructure

In a recent Architect Magazine article, a diverse group of professionals were asked how they would change infrastructure if they had $1.6 Trillion to play with. Most of the response were what you’d expect — get rid of cars, more greenspace, light rail systems — but a couple stood out from the rest. By far, the best (well, at least most original) response was from writer, NPR correspondent, and New Orleans resident Andrei Codrescu:

A dense network of hydrogen-fueled magnetic fast trains with rainmaking devices is the immediate answer. Light rail should feed into the magnetic network from every community. Both interstate rail and light rail should multitask to seed clouds (for the upcoming water crisis) and to power windmills when they swoosh by.

Commuter vans and clean-fuel motorbikes, hydrofoils, bicycles, and canoes should be freely available at stations run by the National Park Service. There should be hitchhiking shelters equipped with showers and beds at all the stations.

Within every municipality there should be a tax-exempt 24-hour zone where everything is legal: drugs, sex, and music.

Following this immediate infrastructural change, emanating at the national level and integrated locally, we should mobilize a huge national will to make teleportation available to everyone.

Incidentally, New Orleans should float and become the first of our many future coastal Venices.

Somebody give this man $1.6 trilllion, stat.

&#183 Infrastructure: How Would You Spend $1.6 Trillion? [Architect Magazine]

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Jimmy Stamp

Jimmy Stamp is a freelance writer, researcher, and recovering architect. He has contributed to The Guardian, Wired, Smithsonian, The Journal of Architectural Education, and many other websites and publications. His first book Pedagogy and Place: 100 Years of Architecture Education at Yale comes out in spring 2016. If you're looking for writer with a penchant for Piranesi and pop culture, or if you just want to say hi, you can find him on twitter @LifeSansBldgs or instagram or email him at

2 thoughts on “Andrei Codrescu’s Innovative Infrastructure”

  1. Haha, I remember thinking almost the exact same thing when I read Codrescu’s answer. Another thing that grabbed my attention was Charles Elachi’s mention of an “interplanetary internet for communication among multiple spacecraft.” Whoa.

  2. Agreed. That was my other favorite. It reminded me of the the “ansible,” a superluminial communication device in Ender’s Game.

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