The U.S. infrastructure system is in a state of transformation. Much like other major systems now in disruption (from health care to education), current models for how the U.S. builds and maintains vital infrastructure also need to be transformed. The challenges of fiscal distress and siloed government accountability systems are not confined to Flint, Michigan. The estimated backlog of deferred maintenance in the United States for critical infrastructure systems is over $3 trillion, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.
While maintaining the nation’s aging systems of infrastructure is important, the U.S. also needs to deliver new systems to meet the demands of the 21st-century. By 2045, an additional 70 million Americans will need basic infrastructure like clean water and roads, as well as new essentials like broadband, a distributed electric grid and modern transportation systems.1 A decade ago, high-speed broadband was a communications luxury. Today it is a fundamental driver of economic growth, a tool for capital access and an essential element of the digital economy.
Despite these complex changes, the key question for policy-makers and the public remains the same. How can investments in public infrastructure yield the highest benefits to the public and deliver measurable outcomes?
This paper looks at how to promote this shift and drive needed public sector innovations in infrastructure policy, regulation, finance, procurement and permitting.
You can access the report here.