We must reimagine the business case for investment in public infrastructure

Joyanne Manning

With the imminent threat of climate change, a growing population and a financing gap of $15 trillion, the world will require a new way of thinking, and public investment in infrastructure will be a driver. A key pillar in driving a long-term positive outcome is ‘sustainable infrastructure’, which the Circular Economy and its principles are a key enabler in influencing success. Circular principles are a way to attract more investment, and given that infrastructure consumes more than 50% of raw materials, there is no greater time to adopt a circular way of thinking.

We must redesign the business case and embed circular economy principles

Arup recognises the importance and opportunity for adopting circular economy principles to deliver a sustainable future. Arup has embraced the opportunity to participate in the Infrastructure CoLab as a founding partner to explore how a circular systemic approach can redefine the approach to delivering public infrastructure. The CoLab creators had redefined a number of focus areas, and Arup has redefined one from ‘Procurement security for the circular economy’ to ‘Reimagining a Business Case using circular principles’, reflecting the approach and outcomes Arup is seeking to demonstrate through the CoLab.

We must adapt and employ new ways of working

This project intends to develop a new ‘blueprint’ for tangibly embedding circular principles in the business case for public infrastructure. To move beyond the current ‘take-make-waste’ extractive industry model and develop a methodology that redefines growth and the associated economics. This will enable a better account of the broader impacts that drive sustainable solutions and positive society-wide benefits. This is also an opportunity to align with the recent refresh of the Infrastructure Australia (IA) Assessment Framework, which provides new guidance in emerging practice areas such as sustainability, quality of life, place-making and resilience.

Want to help Arup turn this concept into reality?

Arup is excited by the opportunity to reimagine the circular business case for a more sustainable future. One that considers the total impact and needs of a particular community or place over the longer term and adopts an integrated approach to land use and infrastructure planning.

If your organisation is interested in shaping this future with Arup or finding out more about the Infrastructure CoLab, please get in touch with the ICL team at: admin@infrastructurecolab.com.

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