Report Summary

Urban infrastructure insights 2015 examines the city infrastructure systems that require the most attention as well as what city leaders can do to develop solutions for their citizens and businesses. The report investigates infrastructure's importance for urban economic growth as well as the social, political and financial obstacles to effective infrastructure and service delivery. This research is written by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by FCC (Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas), a Spanish environmental services, infrastructure and water group.

Date Published: January 28th 2015

Why read this report

  • Respondents overwhelmingly blame city leaders for poor infrastructure and services. Lack of political will (40%), lack of skills among officials (39%), and poor governmental effectiveness (34%) are seen as the principal impediments to infrastructure delivery.
  • Those surveyed believe private sector involvement is vital to improving urban infrastructure and services. While most think that the public sector should lead these initiatives, 82% say the government should work to a greater extent with the private sector to improve urban infrastructure and services.
  • Rail and road investments are the leading infrastructure concerns, underscoring the need for sustainable systems for transporting people and goods. Policymakers tend to be more worried than executives about hidden infrastructure systems, including energy, water and information technology (IT) networks, which require significant investment to maintain.
  • Respondents would be willing to adapt their use of infrastructure, if they are given the tools to track it. More than 70% say they would be likely to change their energy/water consumption and transport usage if they were given better access to information about their use of these services.
Infrastructure is like the bones of the city, so you’ve got to make choices with the long view in mind.
Dan Hoornweg, research chair at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and former lead advisor, on sustainable cities to the World Bank.

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