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The New Era of Infrastructure

The United States, Europe and Japan have built out massive infrastructure over the past 75 years. China, India, and even Africa have followed this path and built out robust networks of roads, bridges, power plants and telecom infrastructure in similar fashion. Trillions of dollars have been spent to build these networks and billions of people have been lifted by these developments.

While it is all the rage to say that the United States is behind and that our infrastructure is in bad shape, it is perhaps more important to understand that infrastructure the whole world over is in for a major overhaul. A new era of infrastructure is beginning to be planned and developed today. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Construction report is both thought provoking and convicting. Even a few years ago we might have thought many of the predictions were too futuristic or even unreasonable. I now think they are not only possible, but inevitable.

The impact on our communities, economic development strategies and way of living could be rapidly transformed as technology changes the built environment in cities and states. Perhaps the most exciting thing is that “new” infrastructure will likely not just be built and maintained as it is today, but it will be built with the ability to adapt and change as uses change.

The construction industry has endured many ups and downs, but may also be on the precipice of a great transformation. The Internet of Things (IOT) will impact how projects are built and maintained and affect the types of talent and construction management required to plan and execute. All of us are touched daily by infrastructure and the construction industry. These changes are worth learning more about and applying to projects being planned today.

– Kenny McDonald

Columbus 2020 Update