Why Focus on Infrastructure?
Infrastructure is Pervasive
It affects the quality of daily life and wellness of each and every individual in the City of Chicago. In addition, it impacts our economic well-being and enables vibrant growth opportunities for our City. Consequently, dollars invested in infrastructure tend to pay back many times over in terms of greater productivity and increased job opportunities.
Chicago’s Infrastructure is Aging
Much of the core infrastructure in America was built during the period of prosperity and economic expansion following World War II, making it at least 60 years old. In cities like Chicago, which have been population and economic centers since the 19th century, some core infrastructure is far older. As you can imagine, over years of constant use, infrastructure needs to be repaired, upgraded and modernized.
The Chicago infrastructure Gap is Growing
The infrastructure gap is the difference between the needs of Chicago’s aging infrastructure system and the upgrades, improvements and enhancements the City has been able to make. Despite efforts to upgrade and modernize specific infrastructure elements, Chicago has not been able to keep pace with its overall infrastructure repair and improvement requirements. This is not just a local issue, as the infrastructure gap across the Country is growing.
How the Chicago Infrastructure Trust Can Help
The challenge presented by the infrastructure gap is that the City of Chicago does not have the public resources to make all of the repairs and improvements needed for our aging infrastructure. Traditional means of raising public funds such as borrowing money though issuing bonds or raising taxes will not fully address the City’s infrastructure needs.
The Chicago Infrastructure Trust will pursue projects that leverage private sector resources through alternate financing and procurement methodologies and harness private sector expertise to help close the infrastructure gap. This will improve the daily lives and economic opportunities of the people of the City of Chicago.
The benefit of alternate financing and procurement methodologies is that they enable Chicago to address infrastructure needs beyond the capacity of public funding sources.
In other words, the people of the City of Chicago will directly benefit from the completion of additional critical infrastructure work.