What words can be used instead of "to modernize" or "to update" in the following sentence?

The program aims to ................ the crumbling infrastructure of the city

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1.The word "to renovate" is mostly used for buildings but I saw people use it with the word infrastructure tremendously on the Internet. I am not sure if they are native English speaker but I'd like to ask if it is correct word?

However could it be used when the word infrastructure is used in figurative sense as in "economic infrastructure" or "social infrastructure"?

2.How about the words "to revamp" or "to overhaul"?

  • 2
    +1 for including a list of synonyms that you found on your own. This is an exemplary way to seek help when looking for an ideal synonym. – J.R. Jan 1 '17 at 12:06

Using 'renovate' would imply repairing and changing existing infrastructure. When you renovate a house you are often making changes and improvements.

Using 'replace' would imply removing existing infrastructure as part of the process of installing new infrastructure. If you replace a door, the new door may be better, worse, or identical to the old door.

Using 'restore' implies returning the infrastructure to its original state. When you restore an old vehicle you are attempting to make it as close to new as possible, but not add anything to it or change it so it is different than when it originally rolled off the dealers lot.

Using 'overhaul' implies fixing whatever in the infrastructure needs it. If you overhaul a computer, you check all subsystems and fix or update any that are broken or out of date.

Using 'gut' would imply you were ripping out existing crumbling infrastructure, without implying whether it were going to be replaced. You would gut a fish's internal organs prior to cooking it to eat.

English has many, many, words that often have very similar meanings to each other. This allows English speakers to select words that have the specific precise meaning they wish, but can be confusing for non-English speakers who may see a large collection of words with similar but not exactly the same meaning. Although hundreds of different words might be appropriate for using in your example sentence, which word you select as best depends on the precise meaning you wish to convey to your readers.

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