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Is there a word or phrase that exactly describes overlooked structures that are part of the fabric of modern living? For instance, these are institutional structures that are there and we take little notice of them:

  • train stations
  • bus terminals
  • bus stops
  • newspaper stands/racks
  • fire hydrants
  • street signs
  • bike racks
  • those big ubiquitous metal boxes that contain the electrical for traffic signals

I'm using it in a semi-academic context to call attention to this bit of the urban/suburban scenery we tend to overlook. I know I could make up a phrase like "urban scenery" or "institutional hardscape" or something, but wondering if anyone in the literature has developed a common phrase or word for it.

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  • Why do you call such things "overlooked"? And what difference does it make if you don't notice the street name sign outside your house, or you don't notice the tree next to it? If you're a car-driver you might not notice the bus stop either, but people who travel by bus will know it's there. What's the significance of "man-made" to your context of "unnoticed things"? – FumbleFingers Apr 14 at 17:12
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    ...but maybe quotidian infrastructure works for you. That collocation has appeared in print many times. – FumbleFingers Apr 14 at 17:16
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They are parts of a city's infrastructure. Lexico has

infrastructure
NOUN

The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.

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A part of what you are referring to goes by the name of infrastructure". This has been mentioned already in this question.

  • train stations
  • bus terminals

Another goes by the name of street furniture (Wikipedia) (also called "public furniture") or "urban furniture" (What is urban furniture?), but there seems to be yet no very precise assignement of the terms (difference).

  • bus stops
  • fire hydrants
  • street name signs
  • newspaper stands/racks
  • bike racks

(Wikepedia) Street furniture is a collective term (used in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada) for objects and pieces of equipment installed along streets and roads for various purposes. It includes benches, traffic barriers, bollards, post boxes, phone boxes, streetlamps, traffic lights, traffic signs, bus stops, tram stops, taxi stands, public lavatories, fountains, watering troughs, memorials, public sculptures, and waste receptacles. [Are also comprised under this heading the following] (Wikepedia)

  • Fire hydrants.
  • street name signs

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