Master builder is a job, if not a name, that is coming back into vogue. The reason is that master builder is a good description of the role construction firms are now playing in public private partnerships (P3s). In P3s, the design, bid, build (and sometime operate and maintain) process for buildings and infrastructure is undertaken by a consortium led […]

Funding Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) share the same challenges, whether it’s China or here in North America. Small projects need to be aggregated to reach the scale required for PPP’s. Large projects struggle to convey that the benefits of outweigh their hefty price tags. “China’s Sponge City Plan (SCP) is estimated to cost $1.5 Trillion (USD) for 657 cities. “China’s SCP […]

A guide to making infrastructure decisions impartially, rationally, and sensibly. A colleague recommended a Brooking Institution paper and it is a great read. Here are some extracts (emphasis and formatting added) from a recent (February 2017) paper from The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution: If you build it: A guide to the economics of infrastructure investment By Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Ryan Nunn, and Greg Nantz. America’s infrastructure […]

Both Trump and Trudeau are enamoured with getting the private sector involved in public infrastructure projects. But analyzing value for money before deciding what to build, why to build it, how to build it and where to put it, they are putting the cart before the horse. Trudeau is pushing ahead with an Infrastructure Bank whose mandate is to “make […]

Trump and Trudeau might disagree on climate policy but they seem to agree on preferring public-private over government investment in infrastructure. Both want to build bridges between public and private infrastructure. Paul Krugman questions why the private sector needs to be involved at all. Trump’s infrastructure plan (extract with emphasis added): Leverage new revenues and work with financing authorities, public-private partnerships, and other […]