More than 10,000 people in 10 global cities weigh in on how satisfied, safe, inspired and engaged they feel with their city’s infrastructure.
“Residents of cities around the world want greater say in infrastructure
planning, and they are growing impatient with delays in the delivery of
modern infrastructure systems that can improve mobility, connectivity
and quality of life,’’ says
The survey’s results showed that while every city has its own distinct identity, people around the world share similar views and experiences with their infrastructure. While city dwellers have a positive outlook for the future, they are also restless for action to improve their infrastructure immediately. They are stressed when using public transportation and want their cities to be greener, safer and better connected. Most importantly, they want to have a voice in how infrastructure systems are planned, paid for, developed and operated.
Five key insights from this year’s report:
There is a clear public engagement gap. Most of the cities
underperform when it comes to engaging with their citizens on
infrastructure, with an aggregate global average of 3.3 out of 10. It
is highest in
Mumbai(5.9) and lowest in Sydney, Chicagoand Hong Kong(2.7 each). Respondents said they want a more focused interaction, which could go a long way toward improving perceptions of city governments’ performance on infrastructure and securing support for future projects.
- Residents want to help — and some are willing to pay. Almost half (46 percent) of respondents overall are willing to share personal data — the lifeblood of smart cities — to help city agencies improve infrastructure and services. In several cities (37 percent of respondents globally), residents indicated a willingness to pay higher taxes to fund infrastructure improvements. Both commitments underscore citizens’ desire to play their part in delivering better infrastructure.
- Boosting resilience against cyberattacks is a pressing concern. More respondents have confidence in their city’s ability to protect infrastructure against natural disasters and terrorist attacks than those who do not. However, less than one-third (32 percent) have confidence in their city’s defenses against cyberattacks. Citizens need increased reassurance from city authorities about the capabilities of their infrastructure to withstand such events.
- Wanted: More private-sector involvement. A clear majority of city residents overall (63 percent) believe the private sector should be more involved in the development of infrastructure. This effort could help contribute to the financing, development and management of better infrastructure.
- Upgrading public transportation and enhancing environmental sustainability are top improvement priorities. Upgrading public transportation — particularly roads and underground rail — is the top infrastructure priority for those surveyed. Improving environmental sustainability — through solar power, recycling and waste-water reuse initiatives, for example — is a close second and tops five cities’ to-do lists.
This is a pivotal moment in the history of infrastructure. The Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People report outlines ways that city authorities, infrastructure agencies, utility providers and business stakeholders can ensure greater strategic engagement to secure and maintain citizens’ support during projects, and following completion. It also provides guidance for aspiring smart cities about the benefit of exchanging data and ideas with companies, application developers and other innovators, as well as an opportunity to obtain citizens’ personal data if city authorities can ensure them it’s being handled securely and contributing to specific improvements. Lastly, the report confirms that sustainability continues to be important to residents, and with high public interest, green initiatives can boost engagement levels. While long-term planning is not going away, planners who adopt an agile approach can test, design and scale projects at pace — and engage more deeply with citizens.
The Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People report has been
To download The Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People report or to review city-specific results, please visit www.infrastructure.aecom.com.
Vice President, Global Communications & Corporate
Vice President, Investor Relations