dence, environmental sustainability, and quality of life, not a legacy of concrete, steel, and cables.
A focus on providing the essential services involving water and wastewater, power, mobility, and connectivity—in contrast to upgrading individual physical facilities—to foster innovative thinking and solutions.
Recognition of the interdependencies among critical infrastructure systems to enable the achievement of multiple objectives and to avoid narrowly focused solutions that may well have serious, unintended consequences.
Collaborative, systems-based approaches to leverage available resources and provide for cost-effective solutions across institutional and jurisdictional boundaries.
Performance measures to provide for greater transparency in decision making by quantifying the links among infrastructure investments, the availability of essential services, and other national imperatives.
An important first step in creating a new paradigm is to bring together those who have an essential stake in meeting 21st century imperatives and who are already involved in sustainable infrastructure efforts. They include infrastructure owners, designers, engineers, financiers, regulators, and policy makers, as well as ecologists, community activists, scientists, and researchers. Working within the framework, experts in such areas could begin to identify a full range of new approaches, technologies, and materials for providing services involving mobility, connectivity, water, wastewater, and power to meet multiple objectives. They could also identify new approaches to the decision making, finance, and operations processes related to critical infrastructure systems. The results of such a gathering could serve to initiate a longer-term, collaborative effort to develop a vision that would provide guidance for developing concepts and objectives for the nation’s critical infrastructure systems and then to identify the policies, practices, and resources required to implement them. The results could be critical infrastructure systems that are physically resilient, cost-effective, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable for the next 50 years.