Symbiotic Infrastructure

Symbiotic Infrastructure 1

by Aiysha Alsane (MLA ’19), Danica Liongson (MLA ’20), Yifan Wang (MLA ’20)

Symbiotic Infrastructure 3

Symbiotic Infrastructure is a working landscape where people can engage with the water process. This project reacts to the existing model for urban living where the production, treatment, and distribution of water is separate from daily life. The separation is often because of great distance, for the water footprint of cities extends over a large area. 

In Boston, the water is collected in the LANDSCAPE of Quabbin Reservoir and travels 65 miles to the CITY, where the PEOPLE use it. The used water is collected and piped out to Deer Island where machines TREAT the water and RETURN it to the water table via a 10-mile outfall tunnel on the seafloor. 

Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant only has a lifespan of 75 years. At the end of this, MWRA needs to decide whether to double down on the plant or look at new ways of treating water. This is where symbiotic infrastructure comes in.`

Symbiotic Infrastructure proposes a new model for urban living, where the interaction with water is more direct. Landform, vegetation, and buildings work together to collect, convey, and treat water. On a daily basis, at a human scale, the water infrastructure is revealed.