Why We Need Public-Private Infrastructure Partnerships

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Photo credit: MassTLC

According to Harvard Business School Professor, John Macomber, there are three global trends that are changing the investment environment in public infrastructure:

  1. Rapid urbanization:  hundreds of millions of people are moving to cities to seek better lives.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.

Watch the full discussion here.