Original Articles

Infrastructure and the Living Environment of Human Being

  • Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resource Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China

Received date: 2001-08-01

  Revised date: 2001-08-01

  Online published: 2001-08-24


Infrastructure is a system which supports the activity of human beings. In order to improve their living environment, human beings always expend huge capital to construct infrastructure. Without doubt, infrastructure has been playing important roles in improving human living conditions, and human activity more and more depends on infrastructure and infrastructure service. However, there is little research to appraise the influence of infrastructure to human activity. In this paper, the relations between infrastructure and human living environment are studied systematically. The paper points out that the roles of infrastructure in improving human living environment concentrate in three aspects: firstly, as a basic condition, infrastructure supports the expansion of living space. Due to the development of modern infrastructure, personal daily activity space has been expanded over 20 times. The travel time from Beijing to Shanghai, for instance, has been reduced to less 2 hours by air at present from 150 hours in the middle of nineteen century. Infrastructure leads to rational and efficient utility of living space and changes the concepts of relation between time and space of human beings. Secondly, infrastructure promotes the share of resources around the world. Statistics show that there are several billion tons of goods exchanged among countries due to the support of railway and maritime infrastructure. Infrastructure has increased human capacity and promoted efficiency in resources sharing. Thirdly, infrastructure has roles to optimize living environment. A lot of non productive infrastructures have been given more important attention to improve natural environment.

Cite this article

JIN Feng jun . Infrastructure and the Living Environment of Human Being[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2001 , 20(3) : 276 -285 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2001.03.011