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Archive for the ‘Guests on The Infra Blog’ Category

Conversations with infrastructure experts and stakeholders from around the U.S.

Guest on The Infra Blog: Stephen K. Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, SC

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
Mayor Stephen Benjamin on The Infra Blog

Across this country, 85% of our citizens now live in cities and metropolitan economies. 89% of the jobs are in the cities and in metropolitan economies. 91% of America’s nearly $28 trillion GDP is created in cities and metropolitan economies. We are driving the economic growth of this country. And our message is that by partnering with mayors, by looking at the creative solutions that are being deployed all across this country, seeing the innovative ideas, seeing the massive investment in infrastructure, but also embracing the idea of inclusion and ways in which we can all move forward together, is the way to go…We’re always coming around the table. That’s the strength, I believe, of being a mayor and having to always listen to every opinion, not gerrymandered ideas with narrow constituencies. We’re going to continue to do that.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: John Schroer, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Transportation

Thursday, February 8th, 2018
John Schroer on The Infra Blog

The issue that we’re very concerned with nationally…is making sure that our mainstay of funding transportation projects, the Trust Fund, is solvent, and it’s just not right now. We’re very concerned that that may possibly fall by the wayside with this new infrastructure plan, which would be more project based, and puts more emphasis on funding through other sources other than the federal government and will make it difficult for rural states like Tennessee in most states in this country to keep up with the current demand that we have on maintaining our infrastructure.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Robert Bolton, Senior Vice President, Arcadis

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
Robert Bolton, Senior Vice President, Arcadis

We looked at 100 cities on a global basis and not one US city made it into the top 20. The highest ranking city was New York City, and they came in at number 23. Probably the biggest challenge that all of the US cities face is the continued dependency on passenger-car travel. We don’t have nearly as well developed metro systems or transit systems for sharing or using alternative means–whether it’s walking or bicycles or other methods of getting around. That’s the big challenge for the US cities, is to look at how they go about diversifying their transportation options.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Jim Mathews, President and CEO, National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP)

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
Jim Mathews - President and CEO, NARP

Jim Mathews is President and CEO of NARP. Before joining NARP, Mathews was Executive Editor of the Aviation Week Intelligence Network. During his 26-year tenure at Aviation Week, he cultivated the company’s digital strategy and led teams that twice won national awards for best news website. Mathews served on the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee for six […]

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Namrita Kapur, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017
Namrita Kapur on The Infra blog

Our systems and services in infrastructure are pretty compromised right now, especially in areas that have been subject to extreme weather events. But even if they haven’t, we’ve got a lot of infrastructure that, frankly, is falling apart. We haven’t done a good job of maintaining it, and we don’t have enough resources to maintain or resuscitate that infrastructure. So the reason this is important is because it creates a path for being able to address that issue. To create the type of infrastructure that we need to provide energy security, safe drinking water, reliable transportation, all the services and needs we have from our day to day infrastructure that we aren’t receiving right now through our public sector.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Shelley Poticha, Director of Urban Solutions, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017
Shelley Poticha, Director, Urban Solutions, Natural Resources Defense Council

“There really is no conflict between saying you would like to have more infrastructure investment and saying that you’re an environmentalist. They’re one and the same. The challenge is that the plans and projects that are on the books in many states run counter to what we need in our communities to protect people. And that’s where we need to take a hard look at what kind of infrastructure we’re investing in, because the same-old, same-old as we just saw through these two big storms isn’t going to get us there.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Anita van Breda, Senior Director, Environment and Disaster Management, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
Anita van Breda on The Infra Blog

If there is a change in the direction at the federal level, that means it’s all the more important that we at our individual and at our state and our county levels, make sure we are doing more to step up our engagement. We see examples from different mayors and different cities who are being quite proactive on the climate issue, and corporations are stepping forward, and so we have to focus on where there’s positive momentum and support that moving forward.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Brigham McCown, Chairman and Founder, Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii)

Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Brigham McCown on The Infra Blog

In the past you had to be physically here to damage something, but in today’s connected world there are people who want to do us harm, and that harm in the 21st century doesn’t necessarily come via an army or a ship or a tank, it comes through electronic warfare, through cyber warfare. Europe has been experiencing that with ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere called asymmetric or hybrid warfare, and it’s something that we ought to be talking about in the same sentence that we mention “Smart Grid” or any other type of smart technology.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Adam Krantz, CEO, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)

Thursday, June 29th, 2017
Adam Krantz on The Infra Blog

“We just held a rally here in DC with all of the organizations within the water sector to get that point to legislators, to bring it to senators and members of the House…They heard that message, it resonated, it resounded, but until it really does start to come from the people, and it becomes a citizen-based question and a ratepayer-based issue, we’re not going to see that traction develop…The question becomes: how many Sandys, Katrinas, Flints, Toledos does it take for the federal government to ultimately realize this isn’t a local issue and it’s not a one-off issue? Preserving these water and wastewater systems is a vital, national need.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV 1st District)

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Congresswoman Dina Titus on The Infra Blog

“These public-private partnerships that they tout really don’t work. We tried that in downtown Las Vegas to do the new Project Neon, and just couldn’t generate enough revenue from the private sector, so we know that is not the “silver bullet.” I’m opposed to privatizing government services, because then the priority shifts from service to profit, and that never works. If you talk about something like air traffic control, that’s especially egregious because we have the safest system there is; we’re going to now undermine that.”

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