Global Infrastructure Agenda

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Nations around the world face a growing challenge to plan, manage and pay for infrastructure essential to address major demographic changes and weather events accompanying a changing climate. To make this case, we propose a multi-institutional, multi-national collaboration, influenced by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Each partner in the collaboration would systematically study change in its region, share and compare the results, and produce guidance towards improved decision making on infrastructure investments. We now have an unprecedented opportunity to make the case for green infrastructure as a more cost effective, environmentally friendly, and socially beneficial alternative to the usual grey infrastructure approaches that currently exist.

We propose a voluntary collaboration among universities, technical support organizations and companies, and a broad range of stakeholders from around the globe. Unlike current efforts, ours would rely on an approach that allows for simple and direct comparison among proposals for change, and facilitates the creation of new knowledge based on critical comparison. We do not intend to create a new organization, or to exercise control over the substance of the various studies.

We do, however, propose a shared basis for undertaking a broad range of studies across a wide network of universities and institutions. Our proposal is intended to minimize overheads, time and cost. It relies on adaptation of existing efforts among the participants. A small budget for overhead costs will either be sought privately or generated by a modest contribution from the participants.

All participants would share the benefits of simplified communication and shared analytical processes. Shared approaches to data, access to a variety of relevant software and web based tutorials, and the adoption of shared conventions, including a lexicon, standard colors, common scales, and a single language ( English) are proposed to be joined together to create a globally shared framework for planning to meet the coming challenges.


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Principal Authors: Tom Fisher, Brian Orland, Ryan Perkl, Carl Steinitz