Aecom launches global infrastructure report
January 24, 2018 – Aecom has published a report setting out challenges and opportunities in the global infrastructure sector.
The company’s inaugural global research report, The Future of Infrastructure, combines data and opinions from more than 500 industry decision-makers working in major organisations across the North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions.
The report examines the problems, priorities and potential in delivering major infrastructure projects around the world.
“Infrastructure networks and systems around the globe are under considerable strain,” said Michael S Burke, Aecom’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Amid urbanisation, climate change and the dizzying pace of technological advances, just narrowing the gap that exists is no longer a sufficient goal. What’s needed is a giant leap forward. Our report makes clear that by focusing the smartest minds, training and deploying more skilled workers, and leveraging new digital tools, we can come together to deliver a better future through infrastructure. The potential offered by high-quality infrastructure is transformative, and getting it right is everyone’s business.”
The report discusses how infrastructure development is complicated by rapid urbanisation, demographic change and the maturing of the digital age. Specifically, it looks at the gap in funding and investment, the growing necessity for resilient infrastructure, evolving workforce needs and how the sector must innovate at rapid speed.
- Changes in legislation and innovative funding models are needed to remove obstacles and allow the public sector to secure better access private-sector financing. Almost all respondents – 90% – believe innovative funding models are effective at bridging the funding gap.
- Future-proofing and protection to guard against cyber and physical attacks are essential for all existing networks and systems: 71% of respondents say a major cyberattack or city-wide transport disruption is probable in the near future.
- The world of infrastructure needs to rethink project design and delivery. Connected expertise is seen as the key to a seamless approach, with 71% believing that many of the traditional, tried-and-tested approaches to project management do not fit the demands of today’s large, complex programmes.
“We know that safe, secure and resilient infrastructure is critical to economic growth and social progress,” added Burke. “The industry must embrace innovation and develop new ways to fund and deliver projects faster, smarter and better.”
The Future of Infrastructure report was compiled in two ways. First, Aecom conducted an online survey of 509 civil infrastructure professionals from three regions: Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. Survey respondents work in a range of sectors related to civil infrastructure and all work on projects exceeding US$100m (£71.5m), with nearly half (43%) working on projects exceeding US$500m. Aecom was not identified as the research sponsor. Second, Aecom conducted qualitative interviews with a range of senior executives in the civil infrastructure industry, where Aecom was identified as the research sponsor. Participants were not compensated for their time or responses.