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Last edited 19 Feb 2021
Better infrastructure will lead us to a better future
|Launching the new, global policy programme.|
Infrastructure touches every part of our lives. From the water we drink to the transport we rely on and the energy we use. Properly planned and delivered projects working together can immeasurably improve people’s lives and help to safeguard against future problems no matter where you are in the world.
The Enabling Better Infrastructure programme has that idea at its very heart.
 Enabling better infrastructure
Sadly, with varying degrees of development and geographical situations there is no ‘one-size fits all’ answer and no one country has a perfect approach which is adaptable, off-the-shelf, to any situation. It is only by working together, learning and collaborating with each other on our successes, and failures, that we will improve.
This programme and the associated resource hub are the starting block, ensuring infrastructure takes its rightful place at the heart of managing global challenges and driving change in societies around the world.
By providing a single destination for examples of best practice in global infrastructure delivery, it is our hope that everyone from government decision-makers to local commuters can benefit from this huge wealth of knowledge.
Unfortunately, investment is not keeping pace with need. If current trends continue, there will be a 19% gap between what investment is needed, and what we have. There is also a gulf in provision around the world, stretching from 47% in the Americas to 10% in Asia.
Connectivity and resilience are becoming increasingly important, so that our communities are in touch and we are better able to deal with emerging global challenges such as population growth, urbanisation and climate change.
One of the key drivers to meet these goals will be enabling and delivering better infrastructure. New and upgraded communication and transport links open-up economic and educational opportunities for whole populations. Improved water supply and sanitation unlocks health benefits for all, particularly supporting the social advancement of women. Electrification of transport, heat and national grid systems will be central to bringing down global emissions of greenhouse gases.
 Thinking strategically
Limited resources must be used well. Without a strategic infrastructure plan for prioritising investment to priority areas, governments risk accusations of inept handling of public money and will squander trust.
Proper strategic plans also have the benefit of achieving improved project delivery and ensure the realisation of potential benefits. These will manifest in a stronger link between infrastructure investment and a nation’s vision and objectives, as well as improving the affordability of future projects.
The resource hub will host examples of where proper strategic approaches have been brought to bear on projects and communities around the world, so that others can learn from them and apply them in their own countries.
 Global collaboration
We are at the start of a process, working with partners and organisations around the world for the collective good. We will continue to update the resource hub as more examples are shared with us and it is our sincere hope that the lessons held therein will lead to improved lives and a safer, more resilient future for all of us.
 Find out more
Find out more at enablingbetterinfrastructure.com. Join the conversation using #EnablingBetterInfrastructure
 About this article
This article was written by uk Sir Michael Bear, ICE Steering Group Chair. It was previously published in December 2019 on the website of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and can be accessed HERE.
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