AIA: Public-private partnerships could solve nation’s public infrastructure crisis

A new white paper addresses the nation’s $3 trillion public infrastructure crisis and how public private partnerships offer a possible solution.

April 04, 2016 |
AIA: Public-private partnerships could solve nation’s public infrastructure crisis

Train station Seattle. Photo: Kaleb Nyquist/Creative Commons

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced the publication of a white paper on the nation’s $3 trillion public infrastructure crisis and how public private partnerships (P3) offer a possible solution.

The AIA also announced that it was co-sponsoring with Governing Magazine the May 12 Summit on Infrastructure & Public Private Partnerships, a conference geared for state and local government officials tasked with updating their infrastructure, but who lack the means to do so.

“Building-Up: How States Utilize Public-Private Partnerships for Social & Vertical Infrastructure,” chronicles the public infrastructure crisis facing the United States and how states have found themselves facing sizeable budgetary shortfalls amid a stock of aging highways, public buildings and water distribution systems.

Through case studies, the white paper cites examples of innovative solutions used by the states and localities to combat this crisis while capitalizing on the P3 model for a variety of infrastructure needs. It includes a map highlighting a number of the current non-transportation P3s from around the country.

To help government optimize the value of P3 and its long-term quality implications, the AIA is co-sponsoring with Governing Magazine the May 12 Summit on Infrastructure & Public Private Partnerships (P3), a conference geared for state and local government officials tasked with updating their infrastructure.

A recent study by Governing Magazine found that half of all state and local leaders surveyed believe that a lack of infrastructure investment is their most significant financial problem. The summit will address the needs of local officials contemplating major infrastructure projects and who are trying to decide if a P3 is suitable for their jurisdictions.

Among the topics to be addressed:

  • Evaluating, pricing and managing risk
  • Defining clear project goals and cost projections
  • Insights from industry experts on life-cycle cost considerations and private sector equity
  • Case Studies - Public sector leaders who have implemented P3 will share lessons learned and tips for success

While P3 is a financing concept gaining popularity worldwide, it is under-utilized in the U.S., relative to other countries, according to Governing. The single biggest barrier is a lack of public-sector expertise in negotiating what can be complex, long-term agreements that assume risk on behalf of taxpayers. This Summit will share best practices, lessons learned and case studies that will help governments negotiate successful agreements and common pitfalls.

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