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SmartWorlds returns to spur P3 Delivery

SmartWorlds Returns To Spur P3 Delivery 


by JARED GONSKY, Director of SmartWorlds | Feb 1, 2016

Innovation... It's not just about technology.

It's about doing things better. It's about getting things done and moving on to the next thing that needs doing, more efficiently, more productively and more sustainably. Even more profitably. That is what our SmartWorlds Initiative has always been about: Spurring collaborative action and innovation on the most vital and compelling issues of the modern built environment.

With that in mind, this important, broad-based series returns Feb. 18 with an interactive event — our first in BuiltWorlds' spacious new home — to examine methods and ideas to improve the vital links between our cities and states, between nations and continents. In the U.S., many older systems are in such disrepair that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) still gives their overall condition a grade of D+ and estimates that a minimum investment of $3.6 trillion is needed before 2020.

Historically, of course, one of America’s greatest strengths has been its world-class infrastructure.

Today, however, much of this vast network of railroads, power grids, roads, highways, sewers and engineered waterways lies aging and crumbling, as a result of underinvestment and a lack of political will.  At the same time, new cities around the world are investing in more efficient and sustainable systems, leaving us increasingly to wonder whether, and how, America can reclaim and upgrade its own infrastructure in a way that will allow it to remain a global leader for centuries to come.

ASCE Infrastructure Report Card, 2013: Grades are updated every three years. Brace yourself for the 2016 edition.

ASCE Infrastructure Report Card, 2013: Grades are updated every three years. Brace yourself for the 2016 edition.

Given the financial pressures at all levels of government, public-private partnerships (P3) have emerged as a promising way to finance the urgent effort to help. However, despite the success of the approach in other countries, P3s here have seen a slow and often faltering start in the U.S. Fears of ceding public assets to private, often foreign companies, a general lack of understanding about how P3s work, and our more complex legal and political frameworks all have contributed to this slow start.


Despite recurring hurdles, P3 Project Delivery still offers a Crucial way forward, an Urgent means to a Necessary end


However, despite the challenges, the BuiltWorlds community keeps returning to the imperative that something must done to enable America to move forward on projects that ultimately are vital if our nation does not want to find itself among the “less-developed” of the 21st century.

On February 18, we dig deep into the realities and misconceptions of alternative project delivery methods (APDs) and P3s. We’ll deeply examine previous cases in order to get better educated about the ingredients necessary to develop successful public-private partnerships. Our panel of thought leaders will present case studies 'live' in front of an educated and engaged audience that, through their questions and comments, will help to ensure that we have an insightful and honest conversation about how P3s work and their role in helping us reclaim America’s infrastructure.

More strong speakers are still expected to join this event, but our stellar lineup already includes:


This will be the first of three- event series highlighting APDs, including P3s, with special emphasis  on the opportunities and challenges inherent in alternative project delivery methods.  A May event will focus on Developing Shovel-Ready P3s & Successful Delivery, followed in September by The Road Ahead for Financing Infrastructure. 

Look for more info on both events in the weeks ahead, as well as details on how to participate.     


The author is director of BuiltWorlds' SmartWorlds initiative. An expert on issues of sustainability, clean tech, and smart cities, he is an experienced and forward-thinking business developer with a passion for scientific, technical, and business innovation focused on tackling complex global challenges. In addition to addressing alternative project delivery methods, he also is planning other SmartWorlds programs about energy, water, waste, transportation and data. Questions? He's got answers. Contact him at 312-479-4530 |

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