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America America Document Transcript

  • America 2050 An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • Tunneling Under New York Construction of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's East Side Access project connecting the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Terminal in New York City. When complete, this $7.2 billion project will shorten commutes for 160,000 passengers a day. 2 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • Introduction A Growing Appetite for Oil 8 billion barrels 7 Consumption 6 5 Foreign A merica faces a host of challenges Imports in the coming century, all of 4 which will have profound im- pacts on the nation’s future growth and de- 3 velopment. The global financial crisis, rising Domestic fuel and household costs, climate change, de- Production teriorating infrastructure, all require strat- 2 egies to maximize the nation’s continued prosperity, opportunity and quality of life. 1 In the face of these challenges, though, America is flying blind. No national strat- egy exists to build and manage the infra- 1950 '55 '60 '65 '70 '75 '80 '85 '90 '95 '00 '05 structure systems needed to sustain inclusive economic growth and our competitive posi- delayed flights and bottle-necked seaports. America's petroleum consumption is tion in the global economy, and to secure a Delayed shipments and the costs of conges- rising while we rely increasingly on healthy environment for our children and tion place every business in the country at a foreign imports. Source: U.S. Energy grandchildren. disadvantage compared with overseas com- Our global competitors are now racing Information Administration, 2007 petitors. ahead to build the infrastructure to ensure This was not always the case. The growth 1908; and the work of the New Deal- their full participation in a 21st century of this nation is due in part to far-sighted era National Resources Planning Board, economy. While America spends about 2.4 investments that built the nation’s canals, which led to the Interstate System in 1956. percent of its Gross Domestic Product railroads, power generation projects, bridges (GDP) on infrastructure, China and India and roads, and protected the nation’s en- It’s time to do it again. are spending 9 percent and 4.6 percent of vironmental heritage, including its forests, their GDPs, respectively.1 Every American wetlands, coastlines, parks, drinking wa- The America 2050 initiative is dedicated lives with the consequences of decades of ter and clean air. America has a history of to advancing a new vision for the future of underinvestment, including congested and national plans that shaped develop- America’s infrastructure. Just as the Inter- deteriorating highways, unsafe bridges, in- ment: the Gallatin Plan in 1808; Theo- state Highway system provided a road map adequate transit and inter-city rail systems, dore Roosevelt’s conservation plans in for the country’s growth fifty years ago, we now need a similarly ambitious vision, but America needs an ambitious one that responds to the challenge of in- creased foreign competition while cutting vision that responds to the greenhouse gases and reducing our reliance on imported oil. The United States contin- challenges of global competition, ues to have great potential to compete and lead in the 21st century economy because of its vast human, natural, and technological climate change, and our reliance resources, but to do so effectively and effi- ciently, it must respond to five central chal- on foreign oil. lenges. 3
  • The Challenges We Face I Global Competitiveness Challenge The United States’ global eco- 100% nomic dominance is beginning to erode in Basic Household Costs Utilities the face of rapid industrial growth by coun- tries like China and India. The nation’s vast infrastructure systems created in the 20th century require repair, reconstruction, or are Transportation overcrowded and congested, undercutting America’s ability to compete in both its tra- ditional fields of dominance and in emerging arenas of importance. The recognition of the problem is not the challenge; rather it is the 50 lack of imagination, creativity, and most of all, political will and leadership to re-think the fundamental principles and institutional Housing design of our policy-making and governing processes of the nation. Response To compete in the 21st century will require harnessing the resources and capacities of both the public and private sec- tors to fashion 21st century strategies for sustained and sustainable growth. We must $5,000 to 20,000 to 50,000 to over $100,000 reform outdated federal policies, remove sub- 19,999 49,000 99,999 sidies for fossil fuels, and provide a level play- Annual Income ing field for new industries, energy sources, and technologies to take hold. Basic household costs are most burdensome for low-income families. Total average household expenditures. Source: BLS, 2006 Infrastructure Response From transportation to water gions of the nation lagging in job growth and Challenge Over the past two centuries we and energy systems, we need investment and income levels. Manufacturing and resource- built systems of transportation, water sup- innovation to develop a more sustainable based economies, including the older indus- ply and protection, and energy production framework to reduce our reliance on fossil fu- trial cities of the Northeast and Midwest and transmission that supported our growth els, create capacity for economic growth, and and rural farming communities in the Great and were the envy of the world. Recently we make better use of our natural resources. Plains and Deep South, have seen decades of have not created the new capacity needed to declining population and income. underpin the next generation of economic Fairness and Opportunity Response Public infrastructure decisions development, let alone maintain what we Challenge The global economic transforma- should be evaluated against principles of have built. An astonishing series of bridge tion is deepening economic and social strati- equity to ensure outcomes that are fair, ben- collapses and levee failures have underscored fication as working- and middle-families find eficial to all, and do not disproportionately America’s dangerous infrastructure deficit, it increasingly difficult to cover rapidly rising burden people of color or low incomes. Fed- estimated by the American Society of Civil transportation, housing and fuel expenses. eral investments should prioritize maintain- Engineers (ASCE) at $1.6 trillion. In the na- At the regional level, access to economic op- ing existing infrastructure assets in existing, tion’s transportation system alone, the Na- portunity is often segmented by geography. urbanized areas over policies that promote tional Surface Transportation Commission In many places, the best jobs have moved new development in farmland or wilderness estimated that $225 billion a year is needed out from central cities, accessible only by car, areas. over 50 years to bring the transportation system to a state of good repair and make while poverty remains concentrated in inner needed improvements for economic growth. cities and inner suburbs. At the national lev- el, the transformation is also leaving vast re- 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 4 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • Climate Change & Energy Security Challenge With the price of oil reaching $140 a barrel, it is safe to say the era of cheap gasoline has passed. Meanwhile, the evidence of human impact on global climate change is becoming increasingly apparent and the likely impacts will significantly change our lives. Climate change will impose huge costs on local communities across America, affecting agriculture, tourism, insurance rates, safety, and homeowners’ investments. It will have a significant impact on hydrological cycles, producing more frequent droughts, flooding, and severe storms. At the national and global scale, climate change will disproportionately impact developing countries, including vul- nerable coastal regions in the Global South, contributing to competition for resources and instability in already volatile regions. The In- tergovernmental Panel on Climate Change es- $4 timates that the United States must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 60 – 80 percent of current levels by 2050 to avert the worst Climate change will bring about Response By making new investments in impacts of climate change, with every year of more frequent, severe storms and delay driving up the cost of making change. the physical fabric of the nation we can create needed capacity for growth, in the same way flooding. Above: Des Moines, Iowa Response America requires immediate and that the Interstate Highway System fueled two in June 2008. aggressive investments in new energy tech- generations of development in the last half of nologies, dramatic shifts to greater energy effi- the 20th century, and a system of canals, roads ciency, and structural changes to a post-carbon and railroads supported growth in the nation’s national economy. This structural shift pres- first 150 years. The challenge for our genera- ents research and development opportunities tion of Americans is to make these investments for climate-friendly technologies that can be in the nation’s physical infrastructure, in a way $3 marketed to nations around the world. that promotes a shift to a low-carbon economy and adapts to the impacts of climate change. Rapid Population Growth With equally bold strategies for investing in Challenge In the face of these challenges, people skills, these investments will provide American population is anticipated to grow the foundation for a new generation of fair and rapidly. According to the U.S. Census Bu- sustainable development. reau, from 2000 – 2050, America will grow by about 158 million additional people to 439 million—almost 30 million more people than were added from 1950 – 2000, during which time America’s GDP increased almost six fold. $2 $1 The Rising Price of Gas The price of gasoline in the United States 1990-2008 Source: Energy Information Administration 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 5
  • A History of National Plans II I n every era since the found- ing of the Republic, Ameri- cans have developed and implemented national infra- structure investment plans that 1930s & '40s: The National Re- sources Board (later renamed The National Resources Planning have had a profound impact on Board) was established the nation’s growth and develop- by President Franklin ment. Historian Robert Fishman Roosevelt in 1933 to has documented three impor- guide infrastructure tant national plans, which pro- investments promoted foundly influenced the shape of by the economic stimu- national development, often via lus programs of his De- indirect means. A brief history pression-era New Deal. Led by a distinguished board chaired by Roosevelt’s uncle, Frederick is in order to set the context for Delano, the Board’s assignment was to take the ambitious proposals that are full account of “the distribution and trends of needed for the century before us. population, land uses, industry, housing, and natural resources” across regions, river basins, 1808: At the request of Presi- and entire ecosystems, to assure that federal ex- dent Thomas Jefferson, Treasury penditures would deliver “comprehensive and Secretary Albert Gallatin created coordinated” consequences. The Board per- a national plan of ports, roads, formed crucial services throughout the 1930s and inland waterways to encour- in coordinating public works and forming age settlement of the nation and policy for land use, forests, parks, hydrology, facilitate trade among indepen- and government-sponsored defense-plant loca- dent farmers scattered across the tion. Perhaps the Board’s most important con- land. This plan was inspired by tribution to the nation’s infrastructure system visions of George Washington was its plans for a National Toll Road and Free and Thomas Jefferson of an egali- Road System, which became the basis for the tarian society – the “homestead post-War development of the Interstate High- vision” first made possible by the way system advanced by President Dwight Land Ordinance of 1785. While Eisenhower. the plan’s implementation was slowed by growing north-south divisions between slave Top: Albert Gallatin, the fourth U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and author of the and free states, several states moved aggres- 1808 plan on opposite page. Above: President Theodore Roosevelt and then Chief of sively to implement Gallatin’s vision. New the Forestry Service Gifford Pinchot aboard the U.S.S. Mississippi on the historic York State, for example, built the Erie Canal, 1907 cruise down the lower Mississippi undertaken by the Inland Waterways changing the geography of commerce in the Commission that led to the 1908 Governors Conference. nation. Other key elements of the Gallatin plan were realized under Abraham Lincoln’s plans drafted by the Inland Waterways Com- The impact of the Interstate System was im- leadership in 1862 when Congress enacted mission that would target underperforming mense. Coinciding with the return of WWII the Homestead Act, granting 160 free acres regions of the South and West with irriga- veterans and federal programs that encour- to each family that could farm them; and the tion, river restoration and dam projects. The aged home ownership, it spawned patterns of Pacific Railway Act, which launched the first plans responded to a generation of railroad suburban development that define the nation’s transcontinental railroad. Through this alli- development that had consolidated power character today. As in the railroad era, the ance with private interests – the railways and and wealth in the hands of private interests convergence of federal incentives and private the homesteaders – a national transportation concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest investment resulted in the completion of an system was realized in rapid pace, at enormous cities. The conservation programs sought to astonishing transportation network, the uni- scale, and resulting in dramatic (but uneven) restore ravished farmland and clogged river fication of the country, and uneven costs and generation of wealth. The same year, in- corridors and create cheap power with hydro- benefits, in this case between urban and sub- spired by the land grant principle underpin- electric dams, resulting in successful projects urban areas. ning the Gallatin Plan, Congress adopted the and agreements including the Roosevelt Dam Morrill Land Grant Colleges Act, creating near Phoenix (1911), the Colorado Compact the nation-wide system of state universities, (1922) and the Hoover Dam (1931). Twenty- Adapted from Robert Fishman. 2007. “1808 – which dramatically expanded and democra- five years later, the ideas of the Inland Water- 1908 – 2008: National Planning for America.” tized the nation’s higher education system. ways Commission were taken up under the Working Papers for America 2050: Innova- New Deal by the Tennessee Valley Authority, tions for an Urban World: A Global Urban 1908: Theodore Roosevelt convened Bonneville Power Administration and other Summit. New York: Regional Plan Associa- a Conference of Governors at the White conservation and economic development pro- tion and correspondence with Roger Kennedy, House to launch a series of conservation grams under President Franklin Roosevelt. historian. 6 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • The Gallatin Plan, 1808, as reconstructed in D.W. Meinig, The Shaping of America, vol. II (1993). 7
  • III Rebuilding and Re T he transformative infrastruc- Promoting Fairness in the system as a whole would have largely the ture investments of the last Infrastructure Decisions same scope and positive impact on national two centuries shared a number economic growth, individual components may In the past, national plans and the infra- very well have looked dramatically different of key characteristics. They of- structure investments they inspired resulted than they do today. The Cross-Bronx Express- fered bold, compelling visions for the na- in dramatic economic growth. In many plac- way in New York City, for example, is clearly tion’s future growth and development. They es, however, this growth was accompanied integral to the highway network of the eastern enabled private citizens to better access eco- by unanticipated consequences, including seaboard yet it has had a pronounced negative nomic opportunity. They were built in coop- damage to the environment and often unfair impact on the health, economic vitality, and eration with the private sector. They were na- and inequitable distribution of economic environmental quality of the local community tional in scale. They relied on state and local benefits. In 21st century America, however, through which it passes. A stronger consider- actions to implement. They responded to the these tradeoffs should not be accepted as the ation of avoiding adverse environmental and most urgent challenges of their time. social impacts would have identified strategies inevitable consequence of economic growth. In this new century of great challenges, including a slightly different course; decking, As in the past, the federal government the nation is in need of a bold vision that local parkland, housing replacement, and other should provide leadership in setting goals can guide infrastructure in- elements which would have enabled the same vestments and development level of regional and national economic de- toward a sustainable and velopment while mitigating many of the local prosperous future. This vi- sion should take the form of an infrastructure investment The Triple Bottom Line negative externalities. Accounting for the Three “E’s” A National Infrastructure Plan plan that includes key trans- Will Require All Levels of Government portation networks, energy and the Private Sector generation and transmission systems, land preservation The Federal Government: and drinking water protec- tion, and plans for extending Prosperous Economy ✔ Setting Clear Objectives and broadband technology to ru- Healthy Environment ✔ Measuring Performance ral areas. The federal govern- ment may develop this plan in Social Equity ✔ While many land use decisions and infra- structure investments in the United States consultation with states and are made at the state and local levels, histori- regions. It could set broad cally, federal policy and resources have had goals and objectives and pro- an unseen hand in shaping the development vide tools and incentives for of the national landscape. For example, the states, local governments, and the private combination of the interstate highway sys- for national-scale infrastructure investments sector to act. tem and the lending practices of the Federal that will shape the quality and direction of Most importantly, a national vi- Home Loan Mortgage agency in the post the nation’s growth, while at the same time sion should respond to the key chal- World War II era transformed America to a focusing on the steps needed to ensure that lenges that face our nation. To do so, it more suburban nation. Today, federal poli- these investments promote more sustainable should aim to achieve the following goals: cies and funding programs continue to shape and more equitable patterns of development. The concept of the “triple bottom line,” in- America’s growth, and not always in ways troduced in the 1990s as an accounting meth- that help America respond to the key chal- ➜ Boost America’s competitiveness od to capture the economic, ecological, and so- lenges of the 21st century. in the global economy; cial impacts of investments, captures the same With the urgent need to reduce America’s ➜ Provide capacity for population and values that should be considered in weighing reliance on foreign oil and respond to climate economic growth; major public infrastructure investments and change, national policies should be aligned policies. Instead of after-the-fact accounting, to support the type of development that will ➜ Wean the nation off its dependence however, the federal government should set out on foreign oil and reduce our impact make the most of the nation’s existing in- performance standards that measure progress frastructure systems and provide increased on climate change; toward meeting economic, environmental and mobility options in built areas. The federal ➜ Restore aging and deteriorating social equity goals and can be used in the proj- role in infrastructure investment should be transportation, water, and energy in- ect decision-making process. one that encourages innovation at the state frastructure assets; and Looking at one of the nation’s largest his- and local levels to meet clear federal objec- toric infrastructure investments, the interstate ➜ Ensure the costs and benefits of tives expressed as outcomes, such as safety, highway system, one could imagine an alterna- public infrastructure decisions are performance, accessibility and meeting the tive form that would have resulted had each fairly distributed in society. individual segment of the broader vision been “triple bottom line” of economic prosperity, subject to performance standards related to en- fairness, and sustainability. The performance vironmental sustainability and fairness. While of states and local government in meeting 8 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • enewing America these outcomes would be measured and en- couraged with federal incentives and techni- cal support. The federal government could promote the implementation of a national infrastruc- ture plan by taking the following actions. ➜ Establish a vision and priorities for the nation’s infrastructure needs by set- ting goals to align departmental poli- cies, ensure best value from government spending, reduce duplication, and show how investments can reinforce one an- other. This framework would avoid the enormous time delays and costs in de- livering major projects that arise because of the lack of agreed-upon national pri- orities, and set the context within which decisions are taken at the state and local levels (and by the private sector) with confidence and evidence. ➜ Set standards for efficiency and safety: examples include CAFE standards for automobiles and light trucks and efficiency standards for appliances. In safety, the federal gov- ernment plays an important role in many areas including the work of the Federal Aviation Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for example. The fed- eral government should set a high bar for minimum standards of safety, ef- ficiency and health, and yet individual states should not be discouraged from aiming higher. ➜ Promote federal objectives with “conditionality.” The promise of feder- al funding and financial tools for states and regions that take action to meet federal objectives can act as a powerful Top to bottom: Portland, ME, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles motivating force. Equally compelling is withholding federal funds or financ- tions. Entities like the Port Author- extended to other federal programs, ing for not meeting federal objectives. ity of New York and New Jersey, the particularly transportation, to increase For example, Congress used both the Alameda Corridor Authority, the transparency in federal spending, re- “carrot” and “stick” approach in the Tennessee Valley Authority and the ward states and local governments that 1991 transportation bill, to promote Bay Delta Commission were created perform well, and provide the tools to state laws mandating seat belts and through federal actions. make better decisions about the effec- motorcycle helmets. tiveness of federal programs. ➜ Measure performance and collect ➜ Convene multi-state partnerships. data. The federal government should To address issues at the megaregion or collect data to measure and rate the multi-state scale, the federal govern- performance of states and local govern- ment can provide the incentive and ment in meeting the objectives of fed- the legal basis for states to finance eral programs for which they receive multi-state transportation projects or funding, such as in education with the regulate and protect environmental No Child Left Behind Act. Rigorous resources that span multiple jurisdic- evaluation of performance should be 9
  • Leadership of States, Megaregions – The Building outsourcing. A megaregion can capitalize Regions and Local levels Blocks of a National Plan on the presence of a wide range of economic functions (from headquarter locations to low- of Government In addition to states, regions, and local lev- skilled manufacturing) within a single geo- States and local government will continue els of government, a new urban scale has graphic “megazone.” 2 to play the important role of planning, de- emerged that presents a framework for re- Megaregion-scale coordination, plan- veloping and maintaining much of the na- sponding to large scale, cross-border chal- ning and advocacy could achieve the follow- tion’s infrastructure investments within the lenges. Megaregions are networks of metro- ing objectives: context of a national vision and clear fed- politan areas, connected by travel patterns, eral priorities and performance standards. economic links, shared natural resources, Across the country, states have been leading and social and historical commonalities. ➜ Development of intercity and high- the way in adopting climate change poli- In the U.S., 11 emerging megaregions have speed rail corridors that move peo- cies that are more ambitious than those of been identified, where the majority of the ple and goods linked to global ports the federal government. For example, Cali- nation’s growth will take place by 2050. and other multi-state or interregional fornia’s AB 32 legislation, which requires Megaregions are becoming more cohesive as transportation networks requiring technology and globalization promote the coordinated planning, investment CO2 reductions to 1990 levels by 2020, has movement of goods, people, and informa- and management across local, state already begun to foster innovation and in- and international borders. vestments in new technologies that will help tion at lower costs, greater frequency, and the rest of the nation respond to the climate higher speeds. Megaregions are America’s ➜ Protection, restoration, and man- change challenge. To date, 29 U.S. states gateways to the global economy where our agement of large environmental sys- have also adopted Renewable Portfolio global ports, airports, communication cen- tems and resources such as watersheds, Standards (27 of them mandatory), which ters, financial and marketing centers con- farmland, forests and coastal areas. set varying targets for the states’ use of re- verge. Given their importance in the national ➜ Competition with international newable energy. megaregions and global integrations Metropolitan regions will also play an economy and their mostly multi-state na- zones, such as Europe’s “pentagon” important role in transportation policy and ture, megaregions can play an important role and China’s Yangtze River Delta, in coordinating transportation and land in identifying the components of a national Pearl River Delta, and Capital Region use investments to promote greater energy infrastructure investment plan. Increasing- megaregions. efficiency, sustainability and quality of life. ly complex networks of intermodal trans- Measured by the geographic extent of inte- portation and goods movement systems, ➜ Creation of economic revitaliza- grated labor markets, metropolitan regions as well as energy transmission and coordi- tion strategies for underperforming function as the basic units of the nation’s nated land use planning and environmental regions such as the Midwest and the protection are needed in the nation’s fast Gulf Coast. economy. In transportation and land use policy in particular, there is a compelling growing megaregions. Coalitions of adja- ➜ Promotion of industry clusters and case for strengthening the decision-making cent metropolitan areas within megaregions labor markets over a larger geographic power of and direct funding to regional can help develop a national infrastructure scale when enabled by strategic pas- agencies, such as Metropolitan Planning investment plan by identifying and coming senger rail and goods movement in- Organizations, Councils of Government, to agreement about the big infrastructure vestments to better connect megare- and regional transit authorities. According systems that cross multiple city, region and gions internally. to the Brookings Institution, America’s top state boundaries, and require federal assis- tance and coordination. Examples include ➜ Creation of megaregion-scale cap- 100 metros alone account for over three- and-trade agreements to limit carbon quarters of the nation’s air cargo tonnage, high-speed rail systems that connect cities emissions from power plants, such as seaport tonnage, and rail passengers, yet within the megaregions, major seaports and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initia- they struggle to receive adequate funding their landside intermodal connections to tive of 10 Northeast states. and tools from their state governments, distribution centers, freight rail, and high- despite contributing disproportionately to ways, and multi-state interstate corridors state and federal gas tax revenues. that require technology investments or stra- Cities and local government have an im- tegic congestion relief. portant role to play in concentrating jobs, Increasing interactions between the met- housing, and activities in central places, ropolitan areas that make up megaregions also where transportation options are plentiful. present the opportunity to expand industry After enduring a long era of decline from the clusters to a larger scale. In a knowledge-based 1960s to the 1990s, many of the nation’s ur- economy, cities can expand the reach of their labor markets by investing in high-speed rail ban places have undergone radical transfor- transport that connects multiple cities within mations to become more stable, prosperous the megaregion and takes advantage of the places, while others are just beginning to turn complementary economic specializations in around. The nationwide decline in crime and adjacent regions. With better transportation sustained economic growth has played a role connections, firms can also take advantage of in this transformation, as have demographic lower-cost labor and start-up costs in rural or and market forces that are leading more older industrial communities that are distant young people, immigrants, and “empty nest- from the economic core but still within the ers” to seek homes in urban places. megaregion, as an alternative to international 10 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • Density Pop 2025/ 2005 GDP Area Population 2000 percent (billions of Megaregion Counties (sq.mi.) 2000 (per sq.mi.) growth US$) Arizona Sun Corridor 8 48,803 4,535,049 93 7,362,613/ 62% 191 Cascadia 34 47,226 7,400,532 157 10,209,826 /38% 337 Front Range 30 56,810 4,733,679 83 6,817,462/44% 229 Gulf Coast 75 59,519 11,747,587 197 15,832,117/35% 524 Great Lakes 388 205,452 53,768,125 262 62,894,147/17% 2,073 Northeast 142 61,942 49,563,296 800 58,124,740/17% 2,591 Northern California 31 47,928 12,724,861 265 17,290,363/36% 623 Piedmont 121 59,525 14,855,052 250 20,505,381/38% 486 Southern California 10 61,986 21,858,662 353 28,692,923/31% 1,037 Southern Florida 42 38,356 14,686,285 383 21,358,829/45% 608 Texas Triangle 101 85,312 16,131,347 189 23,586,856/46% 818 Megaregions 967 772,860 206,780,494 268 265,216,481/28% 9,199 Rest of Country 2,117 2,245,370 73,508,817 33 90,820,565/24% 3,235 United States 3,085 3,018,230 280,289,311 93 356,037,046/27% 12,434 Megaregion Percent 31% 26% 74% N/A 74% 74% 11
  • IV The Three Components of a National Infrastructure Investment Plan Water A Strategic, Integrated cycles, water and ecology, the potential for America’s water infrastructure remains an un- Approach water resource conservation, watershed man- rivaled advantage for our country and makes agement, and payment for ecosystem services, clean and abundant water a central element of The water resource policies of the last thirty which offer new opportunities for sustainable a sustainable future. years must be adapted and expanded to meet water management. Water policy in the United Water resource management crosses many the more complex needs of a new century. States must address the challenges above and political, economic, institutional and disciplin- Changing settlement patterns, aging infra- adopt new integrated solutions to ensure that ary boundaries. Establishing guiding principles structure, climate change, the global markets that work across these divides to create policy for agricultural commodities and ever more The River Des Peres in St. Louis, synergies must be a top priority for a national fierce competition for access to scarce water are Missouri, formerly a natural waterway infrastructure plan. Water resource managers posing distinct new challenges. These are com- became a major component of the city's increasingly understand that the heavily engi- bined with new understandings of hydrologic sewer system in the early 20 th century. neered, capital intensive, facility construction solutions that dominated 20th century ap- proaches to water management are still nec- essary but no longer sufficient. And without careful consideration of alternatives, they can be wasteful and even counterproductive. An increasingly complex set of water problems requires a policy framework that encourages innovation and efficiency, utilizes natural sys- tems, promotes creative uses of market tools, eliminates perverse incentives and subsidies, aggressively promotes integrated management of water supply, wastewater and stormwater systems, and links water resource management to land use decisions. Thanks to the landmark 1972 Clean Water Act, and subsequent federal and state policies, the United States has made enormous strides in reducing pollution from municipal and in- dustrial point sources. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pol- lutant discharges are half of what they were The heavily engineered, capital- in 1970, despite waste loads that have grown by a third. Cleaner water has benefited public health, created new recreational opportunities, intensive, facility-construction improved fisheries and wildlife habitat, and spurred waterfront-based urban growth and solutions that dominated 20th- development. These achievements are directly tied to officially mandated investments in wa- ter resource infrastructure and water resource century approaches to water management. The EPA estimates that public spending on water systems has doubled since management are no longer suffi- 1970 and spending on wastewater systems has tripled. cient. But even so, the Clean Water Act goals of fishable and swimmable waters have not been met. The most serious remaining problems oc- 12 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • cur in water bodies where older combined sewers, diffuse non-point urban stormwater, and grow- ing runoff of agricultural pollutants have remained largely uncontrolled by traditional capital invest- ment approaches. Lack of adequate upkeep of aging pipes and plants, sprawl, and more frequent intense storms are even reversing hard-won gains. The res- toration of water bodies, such as Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay-Delta, the Everglades, Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, will require complex, multi- stakeholder strategies, in- creased investments and the application of new scientific and ecological insights that go far beyond today’s efforts. Population growth and migration are also chang- ing the priorities of water resource management in Watersheds of the United States: An integrated approach to water resource management will require ways that national water coordinated land use planning and water infrastructure investments at the watershed scale. infrastructure policy needs to recognize and address. Emerging megare- tures built in opposition to, rather than as a tershed management approaches. Two recent gions and growing metropolitan areas will sig- complement of, natural hydrological dynam- reports by the National Academy of Public nificantly increase demands for water in these ics. Federal and state flood insurance and di- Administration have similarly proposed that urbanized areas. Physical scarcity of water is a saster relief policies have allowed developers EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers devel- growing concern in Southern California, the to avoid the financial consequences of such op outcome-orientated policies and integrated Arizona Sun Corridor, and the Texas Triangle. unwise decisions by subsidizing such devel- strategies that connect land use and water in- Areas in the Southeast are also experiencing wa- opments from the public purse. frastructure investments. ter shortages despite relative water abundance, The nation’s water infrastructure is also The case for new policy principles that give due to a lack of institutional and financial will- aging. Many urban areas still rely on dis- equal weight to non-structural solutions to ingness to face the realities of over-burdened, tribution systems installed in the 19th and water resource problems is clear. Experience finite water resources. Even in seemingly wa- early 20th century. And many of the massive over the last fifteen years has demonstrated ter-rich locations like the Northeast, exurban infrastructure investments of the 1970s are that pollution prevention, water conservation, sprawl into drinking watersheds is requiring nearing the end of their useful life and will appropriate pricing, ecosystem service and use new infrastructure upstream, while degrading soon require renovation or replacement. of “green infrastructure” approaches that pro- quality for downstream urban areas. Addressing these needs will be expensive. tect or mimic natural systems, and improving Climate change is already altering hydrolog- While federal, state, and local sources have management efficiency can provide the same ic cycles and the dynamics of this debate. The invested about $18-20 billion a year toward benefits at a far lower cost than the traditional reliability of water supplies has been reduced, these capital needs since 1970, the EPA has exclusive reliance on larger capital-intensive fa- and will continue to be in the future. Warmer conservatively projected a gap of $534 bil- cilities. These non-structural approaches have temperatures and changing precipitation pat- lion, or about $27 billion a year, to meet un- also been proven to provide greater flexibility, terns will reduce annual snow packs and in- met clean water and drinking water capital save money, use less energy, protect and restore crease evaporation, lowering storage capacity needs, operations and maintenance over the wildlife habitat and scenic and recreation ar- of reservoirs and watersheds. Weather extremes next 20 years, and these costs are likely to eas, reduce flooding and flood damage, and will occur with greater frequency, stressing not escalate with climate change impacts. The create local jobs. only humans but also wildlife and natural sys- relative role of different levels of govern- However, no strong, effective coalition of tems. Sea level rise and higher intensity storms ment, utilities, and developers in closing this interests has yet proven able to break the sta- will steadily increase risks on the coasts and gap, and keeping the bill for water resource tus quo and redirect any significant amount of inland. Flooding and severe storms will incur management affordable for ratepayers and public investment toward non-structural ap- even greater costs above the billions of dollars taxpayers, are key questions. proaches. Federal, state, and local leaders must of damage this nation experiences each year. EPA has proposed a “four pillars” ap- chart a new path. To be effective, a national This is compounded by land use decisions that proach that incorporates an integrated infrastructure investment plan must outline allow construction in flood-prone areas and a structure of better management, full cost how traditional federal mandates and ongoing reliance on levees and other engineering struc- pricing, more efficient use of water, and wa- capital investments in water management will 13
  • ➜ Reform federal policies that provide Case Study: perverse incentives for unsustainable water resource use and investments, such as subsidies of pollution-inten- sive agricultural practices, promotion Green Infrastructure in Portland, Oregon of vulnerable development on flood plains and in coastal zones, Army Portland, Oregon is using multiple green gram requires all city-owned buildings to Corps of Engineer projects that de- infrastructure techniques to reduce storm- be retrofitted with a green roof that filters stroy or disrupt natural hydrological water runoff and water pollution, create a rain water and provides incentives for de- systems that are providing crucial eco- more livable urban environment, and save velopers to build ecoroofs in their projects. system services, and suburban sprawl money on infrastructure repair and main- And Portland has an $8 million program dependent on unsustainable uses of tenance. Green Infrastructure is an ap- that offers household subsidies for discon- groundwater resources. proach to development that minimizes its necting downspouts from the stormwater impact on the environment by mimicking system, which allows roof water to drain ➜ Develop and implement the means the earth’s natural capabilities. Portland’s into lawns and gardens. This has saved of pricing ecosystem services so that Green Streets program has retrofitted the city $250 million that would be used the value of forested watersheds streets with curb extensions, swales, and for infrastructure improvement and en- and wetlands and other green infra- porous pavement to filtrate stormwater. courages the residents of Portland to par- structure can be accounted for and The city estimates that Green Streets ticipate in the sustainability movement.4 managed appropriately. And require saves 40 percent of stormwater runoff More than one billion gallons from the full accounting of ecosystem service compared with traditional stormwater combined sewer system is diverted each costs/benefits as well as full life-cy- infrastructure.3 Portland’s “ecoroof ” pro- year, because of resident participation. cle planning for any infrastructure – grey or green – funded with federal dollars. ➜ Integrate and coordinate the mis- sions and programs of federal agencies such as Bureau of Reclamation, EPA, FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, USDA’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, and others to ensure that they are equally supporting sustainable water system approaches. (And do the same within agencies like EPA, which has siloed drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater programs.) ➜ Substantially increase R&D fund- ing in non-structural and decentral- ized technologies to ensure that the U.S. can compete with other nations who are far ahead of us in developing and utilizing integrated water tech- nologies. Vegetated shales absorb and filter rain water and stormwater runoff naturally. ➜ Provide tax credits and other incen- be linked to non-structural alternatives. It tally sustainable and economically affordable. tives to stimulate private sector invest- should provide powerful incentives for smart- The task will be to use the successes of the past ment and development of new green er, systematic approaches that link upstream and the many promising initiatives of the pres- infrastructure technologies, improve and downstream investments, and green and ent to create the integrated, multi-dimension- economies of scale, and boost wide- grey infrastructure investments that provide al, goal- oriented policies the future demands. scale implementation. better cost to benefit ratios. Perhaps most crit- ically, it should break down traditional sector ➜ Promote new models of watershed responsibilities and insure cost-effective coor- Draft Recommendations: management at the regional and dination between land use planning and water megaregion scale that link water re- resource management. ➜ Eliminate the bias in federal fund- source management to land use de- ing and regulation toward central- cisions. Condition federal and state The national water policy choices that will ized, engineered water systems. Pro- be made over the next several years will deter- funds on this linkage, and provide vide compelling incentives through other “carrots and sticks,” to give inte- mine whether America’s water resource manag- federal programs to encourage states ers, in the face of growing challenges and com- grated planning real impact. and localities to utilize the most cost- plexity, can produce safe drinking water for effective and environmentally sound over 300 million Americans, dispose of their non-structural solutions for drinking sewage safely, provide industry and agriculture water, sewage treatment, stormwater/ with the water it needs, and do all of this and flood management, and irrigation much more in a way that is both environmen- needs. 14 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • Energy & Climate Transformative Investments of which still relies on antiqued 20th century post-WWII growth patterns and automobile in Efficiency and Technology technology. We must identify areas for invest- culture as it embarks on a period of unprec- ment, assign priorities, and clearly define the edented economic and population expansion, America’s response to the dual challenge of roles and responsibilities of both the private the need for America to show leadership in meeting its growing energy needs and respond- and public sectors. climate change responsibility is clear. China, ing to the threat of global climate change will As the world’s largest economy, the United as the United States, also relies heavily on coal- define its ability to compete globally in the 21st States also has the responsibility to provide fired power plants for electricity generation, a century. Generating and delivering electric- global leadership in reducing greenhouse gases major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Do- ity to meet the demand of America’s increas- through the adoption of renewable sources mestically, electricity production is responsible ingly hi-tech society is a critical component of of generation. The nation currently emits ap- for 40 percent of U.S. carbon emissions – a our national infrastructure strategy. Without proximately 24 tons of greenhouse gases per direct result of our heavy reliance on coal as a the capabilities to provide an adequate sup- capita compared to China’s three tons per cap- fuel source. The share of U.S. electricity genera- ply of energy to meet demand, our economy ita. With China looking to emulate America’s tion from coal fired power plants is projected will stagnate or contract as businesses move to where their energy intensive needs can be met. And yet, with the nation’s energy demand The nation currently emits approximately 24 tons of green- growing at a faster rate than its population, attention to managing demand by promoting greater efficiency in new and existing build- ings, industry, and transportation must be at the core of national energy policy. To meet this challenge, America must holistically examine house gases per capita compared our existing electrical power generation, trans- mission and distribution infrastructure, much to China’s three tons per capita. Installation of renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels, can be a new to grow from 50 to 57 percent by 2030. source of jobs for American workers. Below: Solar panel installation in Sarasota, Over the next decade, energy efficiency of- Florida. fers the most immediate large-scale payback from investments. Retrofitting commercial, industrial and government buildings and home weatherization will stop waste and cut demand. These programs require a clear com- mitment by the federal government to act on its own properties and practices, as well as tools and incentives for homeowners, businesses and state and local governments. Renewable energies, such as wind and so- lar, are seen as the wave of the future but will require sustained government investment to gain a foothold in the marketplace. After fail- ing to extend tax credits for wind and solar in the 2007 energy bill, Congress extended the re- newable energy investment tax credit for eight years in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 at the same time that renewable energy businesses faced new challenges: fro- zen credit markets and falling natural gas and oil prices. The fluctuation of fossil fuel prices will create an uncertain market for investment in renewables for the foreseeable future. This equation could change, however, if Congress puts a price on carbon. Some of the challenges associated with bringing wind and solar online involve build- ing up transmission lines to get power from the remote windy or sunny areas to urban areas where it’s used. Currently, with electric generation growing at a rate four times faster 15
  • 1% Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware DC Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Into the Energy Mix... Reducing carbon emissions and achieving energy independence will require states to shift more of their energy portfolio to renewable sources. Massachusetts Michigan Source: Energy Information Administration, 2005 Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Other Biomass Hydro Nuclear Petroleum Natural Gas Coal Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconson Wyoming Color Guide 16 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • To maximize the potential of wind energy, America needs to invest in strengthening the transmission capacity of the grid. Above: wind turbines in Wyoming. than transmission capacity, the existing grid is reoccurrence of large scale outages like the one a robust infrastructure to deliver electricity, failing to meet the challenge of transmitting experienced in the Northeast in summer 2003. and the capacity to lead in fighting global cli- energy generated from new wind turbines, Perhaps the greatest advancement of this new mate change. By actively engaging both pri- particularly over long distances. grid is that it will be designed to both distrib- vate and public sectors, we can systematically Finally, there are a number of technologies ute and store energy. Everyone would be able and comprehensively plan for the long-term which, if implemented, will have the potential to draw or purchase power from the grid and health and efficiency of these critical systems. to mitigate some of the environmental impacts feed or sell any surplus back to it. This surplus of the legacy power plants. Advancements in power could then be allocated to meet other “clean coal” and carbon capture and sequester demands. This model improves the economics Draft Recommendations: (CSS) technologies could substantially reduce of cogeneration - the simultaneous produc- the damaging emissions from these plants, and tion of heat and electricity - and promotes ➜ Issue a presidential executive or- create new technologies marketable to China the use of renewable energy. This innovative der that would require a climate ac- and other developing counties. Investments in program was federally funded at $100 million tion plan from every federal agency renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and dollars each year from 2008 to 2012 – a dollar and encourage similar plans at lo- geo-thermal, as well as a greater role for nu- amount that could be greatly expanded with cal levels of government. Set a car- clear and natural gas power generation, could public and private investments. bon performance standard for every also be a part of a comprehensive package of Private sector corporations play a domi- federally financed activity, whether improvements contributing to the reduction nant role in the U.S. energy sector; they pro- at the federal, state or local level. of our national carbon footprint. vide 75 percent of net power generation and The 2007 energy bill has begun to address own almost 80 percent of transmission lines. ➜ Send stable market signals by put- these concerns by advancing research on the The remaining generation and transmission ting a price on carbon – whether by a “Smart Grid.” This next generation grid would is provided by government power market- cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax. integrate broadband telecommunications ing authorities such as the Tennessee Valley technologies and sensing devices that would Authority (TVA) and other cooperatives. be installed in our homes and appliances, Because the private sector is positioned as the ➜ Fast-track and expand the federal permitting bi-directional communication be- principal provider and owner of our nation’s government’s research program in the tween the customer and energy supplier. These energy infrastructure, market forces tend to Smart Grid and new technologies for technologies would allow for real-time moni- dictate whether infrastructure investments long distance electrical transmission. toring and pricing, and provide for automatic are promoted. To get around this issue, the load adjustment on the supplier and consumer government could further incentivize indus- ends, which would increase throughput, con- try investments in renewable energy sources ➜ Invest in research and develop- serve energy and prevent blackouts. and in improvements like the Smart Grid. ment of clean coal technologies that The Smart Grid would significantly im- We must today start the process of creating have private sector backing and par- prove the transmission system’s ability to re- a national framework that ensures the stability ticipation. spond to and recover from an unforeseen crisis of our future energy supply, the adequate gen- through its ability to “self heal,” preventing a eration of electrical power to meet demand, 17
  • Transportation Purpose, Accountability the cost to business of congestion Reducing the nation’s dependence and Vision and delay. The transportation system on foreign oil will increase national should provide choice for intercity security by reducing dependence on The centerpiece of the America 2050 vision travel, such as intercity rail, and invest unstable oil-producing nations. for infrastructure is a new, national transpor- in metropolitan mobility systems to tation program that sets out a framework for support the economic growth of the ➜ Reduce our dependence on foreign federal investment while promoting increased nation. oil and respond to global climate flexibility and demanding greater accountabil- change: The transportation sector ity of states and local governments to meet fed- ➜ Provide transportation choice, in- should reduce its dependence on for- eral objectives. This transportation program tegration of transportation modes, eign oil and reduce greenhouse gases must effectively respond to national and global and “complete streets”: The exist- by promoting greater efficiency in ve- trends such as rising goods movement, chang- ing focus on automobile travel has hicles, use of alternative fuels, and re- ing demographics, and global climate change. created a transportation network ducing VMT. Transportation projects It should prioritize investments in locations that has become a barrier to people should be coordinated with land use that are best equipped to provide capacity for who would choose to travel via bus, to shift more trips to walking, biking, low-carbon population and economic growth rail, foot, or bicycle. These modes ex- and public transit. Transportation in- – the nation’s metropolitan areas and megare- pand capacity on crowded roads, put vestments should not encourage the gions. Importantly, the nation’s transportation less strain on the infrastructure itself, development of flood-prone and other policy must be driven by a strongly stated pur- emit fewer pollutants and greenhouse environmentally vulnerable areas. pose and clear objectives that determine how gases, and are essential to more com- pact, efficient land use patterns. The ➜ Achieve greater system perfor- funding is spent. States and local governments mance and reliability: The existing should be held accountable to performance federal government can support this by recognizing the importance of system of roads, rails, and connect- measures that underpin federal objectives. A ing modes should be better managed set of objectives for the nation’s transportation planning transportation investments with all users in mind – future road with communications and informa- policy are proposed below. tion technology to achieve greater investments should focus on creating complete streets that are complete reliability, flexibility, resiliency, and ➜ Create capacity for long-term, sus- transportation corridors for drivers, better connections between modes. tainable growth: America’s transpor- Road pricing can be used in congested tation system should provide capacity freight, transit vehicles and users, bi- cyclists, and pedestrians of all ages metropolitan areas to manage valued for the growth of America’s communi- road space and to raise revenue for 3 ties and regions by facilitating the effi- and abilities. billion transportation investments. miles cient movement of people and goods ➜ Improve safety, security and na- with a focus on reducing greenhouse tional defense: Investments and gas emissions, air pollution, and pri- policies should focus on reducing 2.5 oritizing transportation investments highway fatalities and securing in areas with the greatest need, deter- transportation facilities and sys- mined by population, economic activ- tems from natural disasters and ity, and supporting land uses. terrorist or enemy attacks. Trans- 2 ➜ Enhance global, national, and portation agencies should prepare for regional accessibility: The trans- disasters, including provisions for portation system should provide con- informing, evacuating or as- nections to the world and promote sisting socially vulner- 70s Energy 1.5 America’s competitiveness in the able populations. Crisis global economy by maintaining and creating global gateways, seaports, trade corridors, intermodal hubs, and international border crossings to fa- Americans are driving 1 cilitate commerce and reduce more each year. Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) for .5 WWII the years 1949 to 2006. 1920 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 15 70 75 80 85 90 95 00 05 18 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • ➜ Serve the elderly, people with dis- abilities, and disadvantaged popu- lations: The transportation system should place special emphasis on serv- ing elderly populations, people with disabilities and low-income people in urban and rural communities. Trans- portation investments and methods of collecting revenue should not place undue burdens on disadvantaged communities. Public transportation investments should be designed to provide broad accessibility. Restoring Purpose to the Federal Role in New York City has moved aggressively in 2008 to increase space for pedestrians and Transportation bicyclists on city streets while investing in and expanding public transportation. Above: a newly transformed section of Broadway in Times Square. The nation’s last surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU of 2005, failed to meet most rising congestion and high gas prices, our na- crease ridership, safety, and communications of these objectives because legislative debate tional transportation policy is engineered to technology on transit systems. Existing pro- consisted primarily of squabbles over each promote a single solution above others - build- grams that mitigate air pollution from conges- state’s portion of the federal funding pie.5 As a ing more roads - which does little to address tion, such as the CMAQ, would be preserved result of Congress’s failure to adopt a strategic either problem. under this initiative, but the attributable fund- national response to transportation needs, we In keeping with calls for a “new begin- ing for each metropolitan region should be are suffering from inadequate global and na- ning” and a “vision” to guide transporta- sub-allocated directed to regional authorities. tional connectivity due to underinvestment, tion investment, we propose a new national modal silos and fragmentation, and insuffi- system, dubbed the “Trans-American Net- Metropolitan Mobility: This initiative would cient resources and decision-making author- work,” which includes three new initia- target new capacity needs in metropolitan re- ity at the metropolitan level to deal with the tives, all driven by a stronger role for the gions, tying federal funding more directly to pressing needs of congestion and growth in federal government to meet a narrower set meeting national objectives, but with greater our regional economies. of clearly defined goals for transportation. flexibility about how those objectives are met. In response, calls for real reform of trans- This would mark a shift away from modal- portation policy are growing. The need for a Competitive Corridors and Gateways: The specific funding categories at the national “new beginning” was clearly stated in Trans- centerpiece of the federal program is a new, level and toward mode-neutral project selec- portation for Tomorrow, the final report of the highly-visible national investment program tion based on meeting national objectives. National Surface Transportation Policy and to build added capacity in seaports, airports, The British government has recently adopted Revenue Study Commission, which recom- rail (both passenger and freight), and highway such an approach, spurred by the influential mended against “re-authorizing” the current freight corridors. A research-driven multi- Eddington report, which demonstrated the transportation bill in favor of crafting trans- modal national study could determine press- connection between transportation and the portation policy anew. Its characterization ing national needs to facilitate global trade, in- national economy. New projects in the United of the nation’s transportation program since tercity passenger movement, and metropolitan Kingdom are now evaluated on their ability to completing the Interstate system as “pursuing and megaregion accessibility. The study would meet national economic objectives and other no discernable national interests other than result in a map of national investments, as spe- criteria, including cost benefit analysis. the political imperative of ‘donor states’ rights cific as the Interstate Highway System when and congressional earmarking” makes clear it was first proposed. Federal block grants or the failure of today’s policies to achieve na- financing packages issued by a national infra- Paying for the System tional goals. In fact, the Commission charged structure bank could help finance the compo- A difficult reality of our federal system is the that today’s transportation policies work nents of the system, administered to suitable competition for federal transportation dollars against national goals, by perpetuating oil de- alliances of state transportation departments, between states. The proposed Trans-American pendency, raising greenhouse gas emissions, high-speed rail authorities, metropolitan tran- Network provides an opportunity to move and undermining economic competitiveness, sit agencies, and public private partnerships. away from the “donor-donee” squabbling that national security, public health and safety. characterized the last transportation bill by Despite the clarity of the Commission’s Asset Protection and Performance: The strengthening the purpose for which trans- criticism, engaging Americans and politicians current federal transportation program would portation dollars are intended with a specific in a debate about the minutia of transporta- be reoriented toward the goal of maintaining set of national-purpose projects, maintenance tion policy reform is a challenge. The media current highway and public transportation as- and performance objectives, and clear criteria frenzy inspired by $4 a gallon gasoline has sets drawing on the transportation trust fund, for new capacity targeted in metropolitan ar- done little to promote a substantive debate with greater restrictions on federal funding to eas. For states that wish to expand capacity in about how federal transportation funding is be used toward maintaining existing roads, areas that exceed federal goals, it is incumbent spent. Instead, it generated short-term pro- bridges and transit systems. Federal incen- on states to raise their own revenues to fund posals for a gas tax “holiday,” which would do tives would be offered for states and regions to these projects. nothing to address the fundamental problem experiment with programs that enhance sys- that most Americans have no other choice but tem performance, such as congestion pricing, to drive to their destinations. In response to greater use of ITS, and innovations that in- 19
  • Cleaning up America’s PortsThe rapid projected growth in goods movement and foreign trade poses serious threats to air quality and reducing green- house gases. Container ships in the na- tion’s ports use some of the dirtiest diesel fuels available, while trucks that work the short routes between the docks and distri- bution centers are often those retired by major shipping companies because of their age. Recognizing the importance of foreign trade to the nation’s economy, the freight industry must act in partnership with lo- cal and state governments to quickly and Top to Bottom: Ports dramatically reduce air pollution from of Seattle, Miami their growing activities, lest they present and Long Beach undue burdens on local communities and contribute to global warming. The Ports of Long Beach and Los An- geles, together the largest container ports in the nation, are leading the way to reduce small particulate matter from diesel fuel and their carbon emissions. In response to local and state pressure, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will soon place a ban on older trucks and are investing in berths to “cold iron” ships, to supply power from the land- side grid. The electrification of the docks is very expensive – about $15 million for each dock – and will place greater demands on the power grid of Los Angeles. But without these measures, the ports face limits on their growth. As quoted in a recent New York Times article, Bob Foster, Mayor of Long Beach remarked, “We’re not go- ing to have kids in Long Beach contract asthma so someone in Kansas can get a cheaper televi- sion set.” 6 These proactive measures by the Ports are likely to become more commonplace as rising goods movement poses greater environmental burdens to so- ciety. In addition to regulating emissions from trucks and ves- sels, regional solutions to reduc- ing congestion and goods move- ment bottlenecks must also be explored, such as separated freight right-of-ways, fund- ing for “last mile” bottlenecks, better intermodal connections, and greater use of rail. America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • V T his report begins with an overview of the enormous challenges facing the United States and its major infrastructure systems. It is written in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since declining. And finally, the process for plan- ning and designing major projects is broken, adding years to construction schedules and billions of dollars to construction costs and precluding innovation or cost savings. All of ect in the SIF will be evaluated, to screen out projects that aren’t consistent with national and regional needs or the “triple bottom line” outcomes called for in this report. Megaregion-scale investment proposals the Great Depression and at a time when this further erodes public confidence in our will be proposed through a “bottom-up” public confidence in the nation’s current di- ability to finance and build the infrastruc- process that will further detail the compo- rection is at an all time low. Concurrently, ture that the nation urgently needs. nent parts of the SIF. These proposals will America faces the urgent and related needs America 2050 was initiated to address also be measured against the performance to reduce the nation’s dependence on expen- these concerns. Over the coming months measures outlined above. sive, imported carbon fuels and to reduce and years the participants in the America Funding proposals will be developed our production of carbon in order to meet 2050 process – a diverse group of civic, busi- that can help break the current deadlock global climate goals. ness, and government leaders from across in Washington, and through which every How can we plan and build infrastruc- the country and representing every sector of American will be called upon to invest in ture systems that will simultaneously reig- our society and economy – will flesh out a the nation’s future. nite America’s competitiveness and meet bold vision for the nation’s future and the Process reforms will be outlined to re- its urgent energy and climate needs? At infrastructure needed to underpin that fu- form planning, regulatory, procurement the heart of the challenge is the reality that ture, with these building blocks: and other processes, while protecting envi- there is currently no compelling, broadly A Strategic Investment Framework ronmental and community concerns. These supported vision for the nation’s future and (SIF) will outline the critical components reforms will be required if we are to take for the infrastructure investments needed of national transportation, water, energy years and tens of billions of dollars of waste to shape that future. There is a crisis of lead- and communications systems, creating a out of the process of building the infrastruc- ership on these issues in both the public and 21st century parallel to the proposals for the ture America urgently needs. private sectors and little public confidence Interstate Highway system that provided a An immediate priority for America in that leadership. Funding is also not cur- catalyst for development of America’s 20th 2050 and its partners will be to shape the rently available to meet the nation’s current century infrastructure systems. surface transportation bill soon before the or projected infrastructure needs at a time Outcome-based performance measures Congress around the vision and principles when existing trust funds are insolvent or will be developed against which every proj- outlined in this report. We will also work in Next Steps the coming months and years to incorporate these same principles into other key federal and state legislation and investment strate- gies dealing with water, energy, telecommu- nications, climate and land use concerns. 21
  • Credits Early input and inspiration for this report Photo Credits: was generated by participants at the p. 2 East Side Access Tunnel: Courtesy of Editor America 2050 Workshop at the Rock- the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Petra Todorovich efeller Foundation Global Urban Summit: p. 5 Des Moines: flickr/American Red Cross Bellagio, Italy, July 8-13, 2007, including: p. 6 Albert Gallatin and U.S.S. Mississippi: Graphic Design Library of Congress Conservation Collection Jeff Ferzoco Frances Beinecke p. 9 Portland, ME: flickr/Brent Danley; Eugenie L Birch Minneapolis: flickr/Jeff Houck; Los Angeles: Research, Writing Angela Glover Blackwell flickr/Mr. Pi and Analysis Edward Blakely p. 12 River Des Peres: flickr/Peter Klaver Rich Barone Rep. Earl Blumenauer p. 14: Portland: flickr/La Citta Vitta Molly Briere Jonathan Capehart p. 15 Solar panels: flickr/OneWorld Sustain- Jennifer Cox Armando Carbonell able Jeff Ferzoco Ann Drake p. 16 Wind turbines: flickr/Cory Grunk- Yoav Hagler Barbara Faga emeyer Ben Oldenburg Robert Fishman p. 19: Broadway bicycles: RPA/David Betsy Otto Mayor Shirley Franklin Kooris Rebecca Parelman John Fregonese p. 20: Ports: Seattle: flickr/subactive_photo Rob Pirani Miguel Garcia (Jude Freeman); Miami: flickr/KM&G- Mark Pisano Fred P. Hochberg Morris; Long Beach: flickr/kla4067* Nicolas Ronderos Chris Jones p. 21: Power lines: RPA/Jeff Ferzoco Petra Todorovich Bruce Katz Sharath Vallabhajosyula Robert Lieber Robert Yaro Sunne McPeak Mark Pisano Endnotes: Jeff Zupan Shelley Poticha Rick Rosan 1 According to the U.S. Congressional Bud- We extend our thanks to individuals who get Office, since the mid-1980s, U.S. pub- reviewed and provided edits on drafts of Catherine Ross Baiju R. Shah lic spending on infrastructure as a share of this report. GDP ranges from 2.3 to 2.5 percent. India Steve Allbee Hon. Ron Sims Frederick Steiner and China figures are cited in Reuters India Al Appleton (2008) and Singer (2007). Bob Baugh Petra Todorovich Janine Benner David Thornburgh David Warm 2 Saskia Sassen, 2007. Meeky Blizzard Daniel Braun Thomas Wright Robert Yaro 3 Center for Neighborhood Technol- Armando Carbonell ogy. “Green Infrastructure Performance David Crossley Results of Monitoring Best Management Mark S. Dodson Practices.” [Accessed at http://www.cnt. Michael Eckhart org/repository/BMP-Performance.pdf.] Jonathan Freedman Vincent Goodstadt 4 Alexandra D. Dunn, and Nancy Stoner. Roger Kennedy "Green Light for Green Infrastructure." Matt Kissner Environmental Law Institute (2007). [Ac- Barbara McCann cessed at http://www.msdgc.org/down- Joseph Oates loads/wet weather/greenreport/Files/ Mark Pisano Green_Report_Exhibit_C.pdf.] Ethan Seltzer Rick Thigpen 5 See Costas Panagopoulos and Joshua Schank, (2008), All Roads Lead to Con- gress: the $300 Billion Fight over High- way Funding, Washington: CQ Press, for a detailed discussion of the passage of SAFTEA-LU. 6 Matthew Wald, (2007), Southern Califor- nia Ports Move to Curb Emissions from Shipping Industry. The New York Times. December 3. Copyright © 2008 Regional Plan Association 22 America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
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  • About America 2050 place – and how to organize governance, infrastructure investments America 2050 is a national initiative to develop a framework for and land use planning at this new urban scale. America 2050 is America’s future growth and development in face of rapid popula- an initiative of the Regional Plan Association (www.rpa.org), the tion growth, demographic change and infrastructure needs in the nation’s oldest independent metropolitan planning group, and the 21st century. A major focus of America 2050 is the emergence of Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (www.lincolninst.edu), a leading megaregions – large networks of metropolitan areas, where most of international research organization. the projected population growth by mid-century will take National Committee: Co-Chairs Kevin Corbett, Ira Levy, Vice President Corporate Development, President, DMJM Harris - AECOM Armando Carbonell, DMJM Harris - AECOM Senior Fellow & Co-Chairman, Gabriel Metcalf, Department of Planning and Development, David Crossley, Executive Director, San Francisco Planning and Urban Lincoln Institute of Land Policy President, Houston Tomorrow Research Association Mark Pisano, Thomas G. Dallessio, Hunter Morrison, Distinguished Fellow, Executive Director, Leadership New Jersey Director of Campus Planning and Community Partner- University of Southern California ships, Youngstown State University Margaret Dewar, Bedrosian Center on Governance Emil Lorch Professor of Architecture and Planning, Neal Peirce, and the Public Enterprise and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Chairman, The Citistates Group and Journalist, Washing- West Coast Director, America 2050 University of Michigan ton Post Writers Group Robert D. Yaro, Barbara Faga, Richard Ravitch, President, Principal, EDAW-AECOM Principal, Ravitch Rice and Company Regional Plan Association Robert Fishman, Catherine L. Ross, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Devel- Committee Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, opment at Georgia Institute of Technology University of Michigan Bruce Babbitt, Ethan Seltzer, Former Secretary of the Interior Emil Frankel, Director and Professor, Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Frank H. Beal, Executive Director, Director of Transportation Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center Studies and Planning, Portland State University Chicago Metropolis 2020 John Stuart Hall, Frederick Steiner, Scott Bernstein, Professor, School of Public Affairs, Dean, School of Architecture, University of Texas, Austin Arizona State University President, Center for Neighborhood Jim Wunderman, Technology Richard D. Kaplan, Executive Director, Bay Area Council Eugenie L. Birch, Architect and Senior Trustee, J.M. Kaplan Fund Lawrence C. Nussdorf, University of Matt Kissner, Pennsylvania School of Design President, The Kissner Group David Bragdon, Robert E. Lang, Metro Council President, Metro Portland Director, Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech We extend our gratitude to the Contact: following supporters of this initiative. Petra Todorovich Mark Pisano Director, America 2050 West Coast Director, America 2050 Regional Plan Association University of Southern California 4 Irving Place, Room 711-S Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 201F New York, NY 10003 Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626 T: 212-253-5796 T: 213-740-1280 Petra@rpa.org Mpisano@usc.edu website: www.america2050.org