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Fixing the World’s Infrastructure Problems

Matt Ball on April 21, 2013 - in Maintenance

We all have a stake in the infrastructure surrounding us — the roads, buildings, power lines, and telephone networks that we rely on daily. How well they’re built and operated is crucial to economic growth and is a key arbiter of an economy’s competitiveness — and yet, virtually every economy faces an array of infrastructure challenges.

Just a few examples illustrate some of the pressing issues: South Africa’s power distribution network has an estimated maintenance backlog of $4 billion — equivalent to half of the country’s total investment in electric power generation and distribution in 2011. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that 15% of the country’s roads are in an unacceptable condition and says that road congestion costs the U.S. an estimated $100 billion per year. In Jakarta, from 2005-2009, the number of cars rose by 22% annually, while the distance of usable roads actually declined (PDF). The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean estimates that investment equivalent to 7.9% of GDP (PDF) is necessary to raise infrastructure in the region to the standard of developed East Asian countries.

Read more via Harvard Business Review

Matt Ball

About Matt Ball

Matt Ball is founder and editorial director of V1 Media, publisher of Informed Infrastructure, Earth Imaging Journal, Sensors & Systems, Asian Surveying & Mapping and the video news site GeoSpatial Stream.

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