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Making sustainability a priority in transport infrastructure

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By now, it's been widely documented that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated numerous forces already in play before it began, including digitalization and flexible working models. One area that deserves more attention because of its long-term implications on sustainability is transport infrastructure.

Worldwide, according to the Global Infrastructure Outlook, more than $2 trillion of transport infrastructure investments will be needed each year until 2040 to fuel economic development. Rapid urbanization, surging demand for freight services, and not to mention the COVID-19 response stimulus plans in many countries are putting pressure on stakeholders to step up the pace of infrastructure development.

How can we transform infrastructure to be more sustainable, ultimately improving the level of service and infrastructure durability without compromising on speed of design and construction?

This article presents a holistic road map toward sustainable transport infrastructure, accounting for sustainability’s four dimensions: environmental, social, institutional, and economic. In simple terms, this means that sustainable infrastructure should be resilient to climate change, socially inclusive, technologically advanced, productive, and flexible. Proper organizational design, digital tools, performance indicators and a joint approach among all stakeholders are essential to effectively transform infrastructures and ensure long-lasting development. Stakeholders need to collaborate to apply sustainability concepts and metrics across all stages: planning, design, tender, procurement, construction, and operational excellence.

Source: McKinsey & Company


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