The United States desperately needs a 21st-century national infrastructure plan
to emerge from its deep recession and ensure future prosperity, according to
Infrastructure 2009: A Pivot Point, a new publication released by the
Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young.
"The ongoing economic crisis has
pushed the nation to a pivot point - either the country can risk further
productivity decline, transportation congestion, and potential catastrophes from
dilapidated systems, or it can develop new networks and land use models to
accommodate the expected 100 million in population growth over the next
generation," the report states. "Current infrastructure stimulus spending may
help fix some outmoded and crumbling roads, transit lines, and sewage systems,
but it offers no long-term solutions for keeping the U.S. competitive in global
markets or addressing related energy consumption and environmental concerns."
Infrastructure 2009 calls for overhauling federal infrastructure
policy and integrating land use and infrastructure planning at all levels of
government. Such a plan, the report says, could result in greater leveraging of
public investments; an improved mobility network that adequately supports
desired economic growth; and the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions through
reduced auto dependency. The publication discusses the evolving infrastructure
market, including private systems, and the combinations of public-private
systems for funding, construction, operations, maintenance, and management.