Financing resilience: New report provides a roadmap for cities

Fri, 2015-03-27 06:00 -- Liz Enbysk

A new report details how cities can leverage private investment in building more resilient and integrated infrastructure. A Roadmap for Resilience summarizes projects that create both public value and private investment opportunities, and that will create a robust pipeline of investable resilient infrastructure projects to benefit communities and society.

Council Lead Partner Bechtel -- which over the last decade has designed and built more than 30 smart city projects in every region of the world – contributed to a two-year study with re:focus partners that culminated in the report. That initial study, called the RE.invest Initiative and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, addressed the growing consensus that not only is there an immediate need to build new infrastructure but that it must be resilient infrastructure.

A new framework

The report summarizes the outcomes of RE.invest's 18-month "predevelopment process" with eight U.S. cities and teams of leading private sector design, engineering, law and finance experts.

"The results," as the report states, "are examples of the types of projects made possible using a new framework for reimagining civic infrastructure systems to create both public value and private investment opportunities, especially for vulnerable communities."

For example New Orleans has, ever since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, dedicated a huge amount of resources to improving stormwater planning and management. The city worked through the RE.invest framework " to focus on projects that support regional water management innovation and neighborhood revitalization by attracting large-scale private business investment in new smart technologies, systems and networks."

Another example is Milwaukee, which worked through RE.invest "to develop a catalytic project to spur regional innovation and local economic development, while highlighting the broader city-wide Sustainability Plan intended to align economic and environmental interests to improve Milwaukee’s quality of life."

The report details the processes used in New Orleans and Milwaukee as well as what was accomplished in San Francisco, El Paso, Honolulu, Miami Beach, Hoboken, NJ and Norfolk, VA.

Although all of the featured examples are all based in the U.S., RE.invest was designed as a springboard to catalyze resilient infrastructure investment around the globe. Download the report >>

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