Infrastructure and Time: What can/should we do in 1-5 years?
An exploration of infrastructure and time led by Professor Shoshanna Saxe, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Infrastructure
Making priorities about infrastructure investment is increasingly a focus of politics and government debates. However, too often the discussion and imagining of infrastructures futures is divorced from practical considerations of time. We cannot wish large projects or new systems into existence; it takes years to decades to plan and physically construct heavy infrastructure. Further, once operating, civil infrastructure is near permanent making it critical to not build the “wrong" projects. However, we can also not accept doing nothing, or delaying too long, given pressing social and environmental need. In addition, long term projects still need to be started and stewarded over the shorter term.
The dual needs to prioritize effective rapid approaches to infrastructure in the near term without investing in dead ends, while simultaneously establishing robust planning and decisions processes for large infrastructure investments that take decades, makes the exploration of time and infrastructure complex and pressing.
This workshop is invitation-only.
The goal of this workshop is to discuss a short term infrastructure horizon. What can and should we do on the 1 to 5 year time scale?
This work contributes to three ongoing discussions within the infrastructure sector:
- The increasing infrastructure deficit,
- The need to rapidly adapt infrastructure systems for climate change, and
- Barriers to infrastructure development (limited budgets, conflicting stakeholder perspectives, institutional intransience).
9:45 a.m. - Doors open. Coffee, tea, and water available.
10 a.m. - Workshop commences.
12 noon - Lunch.
This workshop is funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished International Associates Round 2 and the University of Toronto Mobility Network.