Building Back Better, and Smarter
By Mark Rudovic, Principal and Drew Sussman, Associate
How private capital can help unlock the Smart Infrastructure opportunity
The declining state of infrastructure around the world has long been approaching an inflection point. Nowhere has this become more acute than in North America and particularly the US, where the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2021 rated the quality of US assets as a C-.i What’s more, the gulf between the current level of investment and the level at which assets can support forecasted growth continues to widen globally.
While this represents a significant challenge, it also provides a unique, once in a generation opportunity. Asset owners and operators can “build back” by investing reactively in shovel-ready projects. They can “build back better” by investing strategically, with consideration given to critical medium and long-term priorities. However, they can also “build back better, and smarter”, by investing with consideration of all of the above, but also with the application of true innovation to develop the next generation of infrastructure – Smart Infrastructure.
Smart Infrastructure can be defined as the combination of traditional, physical infrastructure with technological innovation to create digitally enhanced assets. Pairing an asset that is ripe for enhancement with a digital solution – particularly one that has demonstrated applicability – can quickly improve asset functionality, enabling better decision-making for owners and better service delivery for users, in a manner that is more efficient, economic, and sustainable for all parties, all while increasing the potential for investors to achieve increased returns.
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