Currently, there is a lack of comprehensive management of systems of infrastructure (3.37) as evidenced by a report that in the U.S., approximately $1 trillion is spent on urban infrastructure systems yet $3.6 trillion is actually needed. It is believed that the reason is a lack of trust between those providing the services and those receiving them and paying for them. The Users include both the service providers (mayors, governors, military base commanders, and college presidents) and service recipients (including citizens / taxpayers); they would collaborate to arrive at the best mix of services that they can afford.
Keywordstransparency, accountability, infrastructure types, golden rule of government finance, life-cycle costs, sustainable urban governance
The recent infrastructure disasters in Flint, Michigan (abandoning a source of safe potable water), London, England (official acceptance of use of a highly flammable high rise cladding material), and Miami, Florida [allowing traffic flow beneath a failing (concrete strength) bridge] suggest infrastructure management needs a more rigorous approach. In each case, no regulation, law, code, or professional practice obligated the executive in charge of the failed infrastructure to assert confidence (i.e., establishing a de facto, status quo acceptance) in a current method of service delivery. In these cases, no technical expert had the authority to stop an unsafe, dangerous, and/or toxic practice (or, if such an expert did have authority, they did not exercise it). This Practice establishes a standard process whereby an organization providing one or up to fifteen types infrastructure services (e.g., water supply, housing, bridges, and roadways) engages with the community thereby served to assess the quality of those services through quantitative metrics (benchmarks), so as to support a capital expenditure and operations & maintenance plan such that those services (including disaster prevention) continuously improve.Back to Top