Infrastructure as a stimulus – laying the foundations for the new normal

The purpose of this insights paper is to examine the role infrastructure can play post-crisis to minimise the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 and help facilitate an effective economic recovery.

Government priorities in the short-term have rightly been focused on supporting overwhelmed health systems and the millions of workers and business owners who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Thinking ahead, however, the response to Covid-19 offers significant opportunities to build the foundations for a more resilient and sustainable future that meets the long-term ambitions of the country.

The paper supports the call for evidence that the ICE is running on behalf of the Infrastructure Client Group (and by extension the Construction Leadership Council) in order to identify how infrastructure delivery should be reinvented in the UK following Covid-19.

The paper provides insights into the following areas:

  • Infrastructure investment priorities pre-crisis
  • The role of infrastructure spending during an economic slowdown
  • Learning from responses to other crises

The questions contained within the call for evidence are as follows:

  • Question 1: What other factors, or combination of factors, will determine attitudes to public life as we transition to a new normal?
  • Question 2: What other systemic changes, driven by lessons learned during the lockdown period, can we expect to be important as part of the new normal?
  • Question 3: Are our assumptions of the new priorities for infrastructure correct?
  • Question 4: What other changes to infrastructure provision will be needed and what assumptions sit behind that need?
  • Question 5: Have we made the correct assumptions on the changes in delivery that will be required, to deliver infrastructure as part of the new normal?
  • Question 6: What are the intermediate steps required to move us towards these new approaches to delivery?
  • Question 7: What other fundamental shifts are required to deliver concrete and long-lasting change in how we operationalise to deliver infrastructure to achieve societal requirements?

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