Addressing the infrastructure decay rate in US cities

The case for a paradigm shift in information and communication

Authored by: Mark Reiner , Jennifer E. Cross

Routledge Handbook of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138306875
eBook ISBN: 9781315142074
Adobe ISBN:


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Despite the obvious need for investment in the nation’s infrastructure, the onus of this expense rests at the municipalities which are struggling financially as needs increase and federal and state funds decrease. In this chapter, we examine the barriers to change that are preventing utilities and municipal governments from shifting from the current paradigm that has allowed for this problem to manifest – where the replacement time horizon of our infrastructure assets is three to five times longer than the design life. We propose a new process, the Integrated Information Capital Improvement Planning (IICIP) process that would provide more transparent information to each group, facilitate systems thinking, and allow for longer-term life-cycle management and planning of infrastructure. Communication is the key to the new IICIP paradigm and converting the existing data into relevant and integrated information for the stakeholder groups of the existing CIP process is not only achievable but also has the potential to radically transform the process and outcomes.

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