The Centre for Infrastructure Management at BCIT is not currently developing new initiatives or planning events for the immediate future. Despite this state of abeyance, our philosophy remains as described below…
Why Do We Need An Infrastructure Strategy?
In a 2007 November report, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities stated that Canada’s aging roads, bridges and water systems are “…on the verge of collapse…and in need of a $123 billion investment.” The report goes on to urge the Canadian Government to devise a new strategy to stave off infrastructure disaster. A 2009 FCM report estimates an additional $115 billion deficit for new infrastructure to service population and economic growth.
The principal component of any sustainable infrastructure strategy must be the integration of good management practice related to infrastructure assets at all levels and across all departments. In many organizations, decisions related to finance, policy, design, construction, planning, operations and maintenance occur in “silos”. There is neither a strategic nor a performance-based framework linking technical infrastructure functions and asset management with the social, economic and environmental outcomes desired in a livable community.
What is desperately needed is a shift in thinking and an integrated approach that effectively and efficiently utilizes the talents of the many who deal with one or more aspects of our national infrastructure. Without this shift, it will be impossible to develop truly sustainable infrastructure planning for future generations.
We believe that improved efficiency in infrastructure management could reasonably create additional annual financial capacity of $4 to $6 billion within existing Canadian public sector budgets. Such savings could help resolve the current funding deficit, eliminate the investment backlog progressively, and reduce long term infrastructure costs.