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Infrastructure 2009: A Pivot Point

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.

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