According to Harvard Business School Professor, John Macomber, there are three global trends that are changing the investment environment in public infrastructure:
- Rapid urbanization: hundreds of millions of people are moving to cities to seek better lives.
- Resource scarcity: there is already not enough clean air, clean water, energy, land and too much traffic and air pollution. Rapid urbanization only makes this worse.
- For the most part governments are stuck (politically or financially or both) and unable to invest in forward-thinking, evidence-based, community-oriented infrastructure and buildings.
On the private investment side, there is $20-30 trillion dollars of worldwide institutional capital that is achieving poor yields. The scale of public infrastructure projects gives that capital a place to go for potentially much greater returns.
At Transform 2016 Macomber presented the opportunities that public-private partnerships provide along with several real-world examples.