Infrastructure is the lifeline of the economic growth of any nation. Western countries like the US and East Asian countries like China and Singapore are testimonies of the prosperity due to investing in high-quality infrastructure. However, the infrastructure industry is neglected quite a lot. Unmanaged infrastructure has a ripple effect on other fields like food, health, etc.
Though infrastructure has always been an important tenet of development, it is more apparent and mainstream lately due to many factors. There are obvious aspects like changing times; some upgradation is indispensable to incorporate modern technological changes and lifestyle needs. Another aspect is the proliferation of uncertain crises and their increasingly frequent occurrences.
The current period is marking a major shift in the perspective of infrastructure. Earlier it was solely viewed from a monetary angle, however, now, federations and private corporations are showing interest in the ‘sustainable side of the field. Also, since governments tend to have restrained budgets, private enterprises are entering into partnerships or also in silos and driving this watershed moment.
Why the focus on infrastructure investments?
It is highly unlikely that things will go back to what they were like in the past. The pandemic has rendered most of our systems and practices obsolete or inefficient. So, coming out of this, we need to reinvent our infrastructure. For instance, the earlier ways of transport, working facilities, need to undergo transformative changes to accommodate safety and health concerns.
Also, the pandemic has caused a huge dip in the global economy. Since infrastructure is one of the major drivers of development and growth, it would bode well for us to focus our investments on furthering our infrastructure.
Build for the Future
From the current plight of our infrastructure, we can understand the importance of building future-ready systems. Although it is impossible to predict the future exactly, with today’s awareness and technology, it is possible to come up with the closest, efficient, and scalable systems for the future.
Infrastructure is originally a field whose systems are meant to be built to last. We must constantly keep investing in that premise.
Resilience is usually used to describe humans or systems when they bounce back from negative experiences or disturbances. Similarly, environmental resilience is the ecosystem’s ability to resist damage and recover quickly. Infrastructure has a huge part to play in this.
These days environmental hazards are becoming more frequent and disastrous. Though climate change is a strong inhibiting factor, the current pandemic has shown that our infrastructural systems are vulnerable to health hazards also.
While considering resilience, the escalating occurrences of floods, forest fires, earthquakes, and such calamities must be kept in mind. Also, the incidence of the pandemic as a preview of the upcoming similar large-scale illnesses is a reminder that investments must abound in this field.
Infrastructure has much to contribute towards sustainability. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which according to the UN, were to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”, are all relevant to infrastructure in one way or another. Such is the potential infrastructure holds.
Also, to increase investments in this area, the concept of green bonds was introduced. Green bonds are issued to finance projects that append positive action towards climate change and benefit the environment. Earlier, infrastructure was primarily a governmental concern, but now, private enterprises are finding ways to contribute to the sector while also drawing profitable returns.
This is something that needs no explanation. The past decade itself has seen some unprecedented technological advancements; with such developments, it is only natural that we have the systems that can accommodate them.
Another thing that has excelled with time is Urbanization. Studies show that more than 50% of the world’s population will live in urban cities by 2050. Are the cities ready for such a shift? The answer is pretty much obvious. The suffocating roads and residential layouts much alter significantly to accommodate a huge volume of the populace.
Also, the factor of the adoption of renewable energy is pertinent. Public transportation must also be optimized to become eco-friendly and preferably, the primary mode of transport.
Nevertheless, investing in infrastructure is pertinent to the current economical and ecological frameworks. With advancing tech and changing times, there will be more ways to improve our infrastructure and the way we devise it. So, infrastructure is no more a backseat driver in investments, it is among the front runners of development.