The Infrastructure Lab
The challenges presented by decades of underinvestment, record-high public debt, and the impossibility of raising taxes, signify traditional federal funding mechanisms are insufficient for delivering the infrastructure that local economies and people depend on. This leaves municipal governments in the United States largely on their own to provide essential infrastructure services, which are increasingly failing to deliver for local economies and citizens. For these communities, an increasingly inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure has detrimental social and financial consequences and puts lives at risk.
Many countries have responded to similar challenges by opening their infrastructure markets to private investors, a course not taken by U.S. policymakers, despite having what is potentially the largest infrastructure market globally.
The mission of BPC Infrastructure Lab is to facilitate infrastructure restoration and to accelerate the opening of the U.S. infrastructure market to investors. It is overseen by a distinguished steering committee.
The Lab’s team works with experts and practitioners from industry, government, and academia to identify ideas at work in financing, modernizing, repairing, and funding the physical structures, systems, and networks that provide essential services— water, power, mobility, and connectivity—to the public.
We build evidence through research and analysis about what works and delivers the best outcomes for taxpayers, and share this evidence with policymakers so they can make informed and effective decisions for restoring America’s infrastructure.
In 2016, BPC’s Executive Council on Infrastructure published A New Model to Modernize U.S. Infrastructure. Their recommendations fuel the Lab’s Demonstration Initiatives.
BPC’s Infrastructure Lab complements the Infrastructure teams’ issue briefs, public convenings, and communications outreach by highlighting initiatives in the market that have the potential to demonstrate to other governments that they too can take similar action to restore in infrastructure for economic and social benefit. This integrated strategy increases the likelihood of gaining the support of lawmakers for an innovative idea that can drive meaningful public value.
Works in Development
Our new projects build on all three of our Demonstration Initiatives to optimize our impact.
While we are waiting for the Fellows Program to be authorized, we are at work recruiting our second infrastructure fellow. This assignment is for the Department of the Navy in connection with a Navy public-private partnership involving real estate redevelopment.
Another initiative in development is the establishment of a Center of Excellence in Asset Recycling which builds on the asset recycling pilot and seeks to serve as an implementation mechanism for state and local governments interested in acquiring asset recycling capacity.
Our most recent project focuses on the issue of deferred maintenance which has largely gone unmeasured and unreported for decades. The Lab’s team is working to identify and follow deferred maintenance projects of note that have replicable value to governments and improve the delivery of infrastructure services to taxpayers. Key to this project is the formation of a working group on asset management to standardize how deferred maintenance is defined, measured, and reported by state and local governments.
For more information, please contact the Lab’s Director, Jill Eicher at [email protected].