“The debate over how to fund much needed infrastructure projects is once again centre stage, as the United States and other countries approve stimulus packages that devote significant funds to infrastructure.
Taking the US as an example, many state and local governments have been eager to request funds to create needed jobs in their communities.
But the $100bn or so allocated to infrastructure in the US stimulus plan really is just a first step towards addressing the more than US$2 trillion of US infrastructure needs.
The stimulus money will fund desperately needed shovel-ready projects that should spur immediate activity.
It has brought much needed attention to the state of infrastructure in this country.”
This is a great article from the BBC.
Some (like myself) will argue that modern Infrastructure needs to be redefined. A classic definition of infrastructure “basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, and power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.”
It would be very hard to argue that the arts and entertainment (including sports) isn’t an integral part of a healthy functioning modern western society. Just as traditional concepts of communication in Infrastructure used to mean just Morse and the telegraph line, then the telephone and latterly to include Cellular Networks and Interweb communication, the concept of the houses/arenas of culture and sports must be given consideration.
Others would argue that this is an extravagance, and Stadiums and the like have little or no place in modern infrastructure. I would suggest that these people look at the ‘brand’, economic and social contribution that modern sporting franchises bring to communities in New Zealand. I have witnessed firsthand how much a city will bend over backwards to host a major sporting franchise in North America, with Vancouver recently being granted an expansion of the MLS team to their city. There’s a real civic pride associated with it. Just look at the city when a test match is in town, the ‘cultural and sporting spirituality’ of a community is important today.
Still good story and worthy debate.