Infrastructural Maintenance

November 30, 2018

03 Instruments _ Layout


Maintaining the safety

“…much of the sociotechnical infrastructure of the word remains invisible until it ceases to work, losing its ‘ready-at-hand’ qualities.”       –  Janek Ozmin


Things seems to move faster and faster in society, and we are probably less tolerant with delays and problems in the public transportation today, since we have gotten so used to infrastructure that runs very fast and smoothly. We also have a lot of systems to control and monitor the public transportation. My opinion is that the Swedish society has a rather strong culture of control and that we, as a society, kind of suffer from an over-exaggerated fear of chaos, and that this is manifested for example in the rigorous control of the metro system.
Looking at the metro station, it seems to be the movable parts that are the most vulnerable and with the highest risk to break down. One of the entrance sliding door broke down and had to be closed. The gates have relatively new sliding doors in glass that often break in one way or another, and it happens that people get squeezed and injured by them. There are three escalators, and one of them are usually broken or under maintenance. I guess they have three escalators because of this, so that one can be maintained as the other two one still goes up and down. There is one elevator, which is off course stops working from time to time. There is no other option but to use the escalators or go to another metro station, which means that people in wheelchairs as well as people with bad balance or with strollers and small children, find them self in a troublesome, time consuming, situation. Another main system that seem to break down is the digital information and the machines that requires internet connection, like the information boards telling us how many minutes to the next train and the ticket machines.
We depend on the infrastructure of the metro, but the system also depends on us. It need us, and/or taxes, paying for the services and the maintenance. It need to be accessible for people to use, and as seen in the New York example, it needs to have a good reputation and feel safe and trust wordy. In an aim to return to the main topic of this course, infrastructure and gender, I started to think about women and safety and the fact that some people, mostly women I guess, are a bit frightened to walk to or from the metro station when it is dark outside. Especially when there are few people moving in the area. Could this be addressed in some way?

Helena Eriksson

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