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Building a Better Way to Manage Infrastructure

Earlier today, BTY participated on a panel discussing infrastructure best practices in North America at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Summit of the Americas. In conjunction with the Summit, the RICS recently launched a research paper on Infrastructure Management in North America.

The decline in infrastructure in North America over the past quarter century has not yet reached a crisis stage. It is however headed in that direction unless there is a coordinated effort over the next decade to alter the trajectory towards renewal, resilience, sustainability and innovation.

To support that change in direction, the RICS, under the leadership of current President Amanda Clack, has published a new report Infrastructure Management: Current Practices and Future Trends in May 2017.[1]

The report delivers insights from industry leaders on the current environment, while offering guidance on how to influence and restore this central pillar of economic growth. As part of intelligence gathering for the report, the RICS conducted three roundtables across North America in early 2017.

The roundtables brought together stakeholders from both the public and private sector to discuss the growing need to integrate design, building, finance and operating models, and how to develop the talent base necessary to make complex infrastructure projects successful. BTY, a global infrastructure and development consultancy firm with offices in North America, Europe, and the Middle East, participated in the infrastructure roundtables held in Toronto and New York.

One of the most important lessons for improving infrastructure management that I see from my PPP experience over the past 15 years is the need for emphasis on long-term thinking, especially for project life-cycles. This is showing up in efforts to focus on operational as well as design excellence.

Looking at the operational side of infrastructure assets is critical because more than 90% of the assets’ costs will come from operations and maintenance.

Another way that I see long-term thinking as key to building better infrastructure management lies in ensuring the knowledge base developed to date is passed onto the next generation through coaching and mentoring.

Just as the PPP model has spread with knowledge sharing across sectors, borders and oceans, hard-won expertise has to be shared across generations.

Since 2004, BTY has developed capacity and capabilities to move from pioneering the advisory services critical to the Canadian Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model to sharing best practices with new and emerging PPP markets such as the United States and Turkey. We are also extending our knowledge of lessons learned to mature PPP markets such as the United Kingdom and others in Europe that are actively seeking solutions to the next generation of financing infrastructure for smart cities.

BTY’s projects span infrastructure sectors from transportation and transit to healthcare, education and government buildings.

In Q1 2017, InfraDeals ranked BTY #1 in North America (and #3 globally) for Technical Advisory services on PPP infrastructure projects.[2]

By participating in important research initiatives such as those led by the RICS, we can ensure that as Qualified Professionals each of us is contributing our experience and lessons learned to collectively help shape the future of infrastructure development in our local markets and abroad.

Connect with us for more opportunities to discuss improving the long-term value of infrastructure assets from the earliest stages of development.

 

Sources:

[1] Infrastructure Management: Current Practices and Future Trends
[2] InfraDeals League Tables, Q1 2017