The Infrastructure Observatory is an alliance of citizens devoted to exploring the infrastructural landscape of the urban spaces around them. Our mission is to render visible the oft-invisible guts of the city, and foster a community of enthusiasts around the many structures running under the surface of urban life. 

Our mandate is broad: The Observatory’s explorations cover a whole range of people, places, and things. This includes the physical landscape—water, energy, transportation, information, and so on—and the social landscape as well—economy, religion, law, and topics further afield.

IO currently has two major ongoing activities: (1) outings to tour the massive and complex systems that make urban life possible, and (2) a book club and other events to discuss the bigger issues these systems implicate. We also recently organized MacroCity, a conference on these topics. You can learn more about where we’ve been in the past here.

We’re based in and around San Francisco, CA at the moment, but spreading soon to a city near you!

To hear about tour opportunities, as well as announcements on the latest events and news coming up at the Observatory, sign up for the SF chapter announcement list here

Infrastructure Observatory is a collaboration between Craig CannonTim Hwang, Xiaowei Wang, and Hilary Hoeber.