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Infrastructure 2012: spotlight on leadership

America’s infrastructure solutions

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Oklahoma City has developed an innovative way of funding civic projects—bundle them into short-term, focused packages, and subject them to a vote.

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Despite a very challenging economy, many leaders are forging ahead, applying innovations and bringing America’s infrastructure into the 21st century.

Global economic competitiveness demands new kinds of regional entrepreneurship, and each of these place-based stories provides insights and inspiration for leaders seeking infrastructure solutions:

  • North Carolina’s Research Triangle illustrates some of the challenges of funding and planning a regional transit system that spans three counties. In late 2011, one of the area’s three counties passed a ballot referendum to fund its piece of the system. Now the region’s other two counties must follow suit.
  • Oklahoma City has developed an innovative way of funding civic projects—bundle them into short-term, focused packages, and subject them to a vote. The city’s third in its Metropolitan Area Projects series, MAPs3, passed in late 2009 and is generating US$777 million for transformative downtown parks and other civic infrastructure over seven years.
  • In Los Angeles, the campaign for Measure R—which will generate US$40 billion in local funding for critical transportation investments—relied on strong leadership from public officials and ample grass-roots support.
  • In northeastern Illinois, a broad regional effort has produced a new water plan that works within existing institutional frameworks to ensure future water supplies for the region. Will the plan translate into action on the ground?
  • In San Francisco, a cutting-edge parking program that uses new technology and pricing is better managing the city’s parking resources.
  • In New England, the “Knowledge Corridor” brand is providing a regional hook that leaders in two states are leveraging to build a more sustainable, transit-oriented future.

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Infrastructure 2012: spotlight on leadership

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