The Drexel School of Economics and ESI’s joint urban economic policy conference held on May 12, 2017 ended with a panel that gathered former Philadelphia Commerce Director and ESI Senior Advisor Alan Greenberger, ESI President Richard Voith and Associate Professor at the Universita luav di Venezia Silvio Nocera. Together they touched on the macro-economic aspects of infrastructure.
For Mr. Greenberger, compared to its international peers, the U.S. is behind when it comes to infrastructure. But more than a question of finance, this is above all about decision-making: every city or government entity has a different set of constraints and priorities that impact the decisions they make. As a result, although a regional approach is desirable, decisions still need to be made locally. He mentioned the rise of Public-Private Partnerships (P3) to invest in infrastructure, using the fact that the private sector has more flexibility and a quicker access to capital, the flip side being that it comes at a more expensive rate than a public loan.
ESI President and Principal, Richard Voith, looked at the importance of cities as catalysts for job growth, and how technology is causing great shifts in how we manage transportation infrastructure needs in urban environments.
Finally, Mr. Nocera looked at the global issues we face regarding increases in greenhouse gas emissions and stressed the importance of managing this issue in mobility plans.