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Partners in Resilience: Constructing the Future of Sustainable Infrastructure

By District Energy posted 10-26-2017 00:00


Knowledge @ Wharton in collaboration with IGEL


It will cost $3.6 trillion to repair and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, but potential financial constraints are not the only obstacle to getting the job done. In the face of increasingly extreme weather, communities can no longer afford infrastructure that is simply fixed when it breaks. They need sustainable infrastructure that offers solutions that can keep up with contemporary climate challenges. Cities worldwide are increasingly turning to private-sector partners for the long-term investment and operational expertise these new solutions demand.

Sustainable infrastructure includes utilities that are designed to support a community that faces new economic, social and environmental challenges over time. In a way, they are future proof: designed and operated to be more resilient. And if they work within a public-private partnership (P3) framework, expertise is shared and deployed at scale. According to a PwC report, the “P3 pipeline now stretches across more than 20 states, including many that have never closed a public-private partnership transaction before.” With the number and size of P3s increasing each year and major infrastructure legislation anticipated on Capitol Hill, prospects for market growth in the U.S. are brighter now than at any time in recent memory.

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