Updated February 5, 2013
President Obama listed infrastructure as one of the key investments to the United State's long-term economic growth and its ability to be a world leader. However, by some estimates from 2006 and 2007 data, the U.S. government expenditure on infrastructure recently dropped to about 2.4% of its GDP, while Europe spends 5% of its GDP and China spends about 9% of its GDP in this sector.
Infrastructure Research Links are divided into:
- Building America's Future Educational Fund: News
Topics include transportation, water, economic competitiveness, technology, energy, improving quality of life, national infrastructure bank; includes quotations and facts sections; from "a bipartisan coalition of elected officials."
- The Hill: Transportation and Infrastructure News Topic
"Nonpartisan reporting on the inner workings of Congress and the nexus of politics and business." infrastructure news page and transportation-specific blog; other news topics, special reports, videos from CSPAN and others.
- The Infrastructurist: America Under Construction
- New York Times: Topics - Infrastructure (Public Works)
- PB Transportation Update
"Find copies of House and Senate bill texts, analysis and summaries of those bills, funding tables, information about project earmarks, and related congressional testimony and reports."
- PBS: Blueprint America
Includes news updates and blog to follow up on this 2008-2009 documentary.
- PBS: Need to Know - Infrastructure
- Popular Mechanics: Infrastructure articles
- Reuters: Infrastructure
Latest articles (including widely cited "U.S. infrastructure woes: a roadblock to growth"), news topics related to infrastructure; sign up for RSS updates.
- U.S. Infrastructure Magazine: News
"Developments in American Infrastructure and Construction Management News." latest news free; magazine requires subscription
Data , Polls, and Surveys
- American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card for America's Infrastructure
(2009 report card) American infrastructure as of 2009 is rated "D"; reports costs of needed investment over the next 5 years.
- Business Insider Charts: The Alarming Collapse Of US Infrastructure Spending
(2011) charts from report by Urban Land Institute, "Infrastructure 2011: A Strategic Priority."
- Congressional Budget Office: "Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure"
2010 report with data up to 2007; supplemental data chart goes up to 2009.
- Federal Aviation Administration: Data and Research
Accidents and incidents, aviation data, commercial space, passengers and cargo, safety, funding.
- International Transport Forum: Infrastructure Investment and Maintenance Data
(2002-2009, though only up to 2003 for U.S.)
- National Academies Transportation Research Board: TRID Database
Records on transportation research worldwide; some free PDFs, others citations only.
- NPR: Visualizing the U.S. Electric Gride
(2009) map that details sources of power, power plants, solar power, wind power; part of NPR series "Power Hungry: Reinventing The U.S. Electric Grid."
- OECD Statistics
Indicator: Infrastructure investment data
- U.S. Department of Transportation: Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Includes data on freight gateways, airlines, border crossing, international (trade and border crossing).
- World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Survey
(2011-2012) under Data Tables, select "Infrastructure." Includes survey of executives from several countries on how they rate different areas of infrastructure.
U.S. Government Departments and Initiatives
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Infrastructure
Includes plan for "Modernizing American Infrastructure."
- Congressional Budget Office: Transportation and Infrastructure publications
- Congressional Research Service: search for Infrastructure
- U.S. Department of Transportation: National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission
(February 26, 2009, final report)
- Government Printing Office: MetaLib search in Business and Economy
Saved search of government publications for documents that include infrastructure in their subject descriptions; includes GAO reports and testimonies and Federal Reserve Board Discussions.
- House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- National Export Initiative: "The Export Promotion Cabinet’s Plan for Doubling U.S. Exports in Five Years"
(September 16, 2010, PDF) In response to President Obama's January 27, 2010 State of the Union Address; report emphasizes investment in infrastructure to meet export goal.
- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- White House: President Obama to Announce Plan to Renew and Expand America’s Roads, Railways and Runways
(September 6, 2010) how many miles of roads, railways, and runways that will be improved over next 6 years; specific upfront and long-term investments.
- White House: President Obama Speaks on Investing in Our Infrastructure
(November 2, 2011) urges Congress to pass the infrastructure piece of the American Jobs Act.
Laws, Standards, and Taxes
Nongovernmental Organizations and Institutes
- American Association of Port Authorities: Knowledge Library
- AFL-CIO: Transportation Trades Department
Groups by mode of transportation, press releases, policy statements, congressional testimonies that "impact the workday of transportation workers."
- Bipartisan Policy Center: National Transportation Policy Project
- Brookings: Infrastructure
Research and commentary of "policies and investments that can enhance the health and vitality of metropolitan areas, where the bulk of the U.S. population lives."
- Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors
Established to "bring national attention to the needs of our multimodal freight system." Some freely available resources, such as map of commidity flows (2002) and freight specific legislation.
- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Leadership Initiative on Transportation Solvency
Link to final report: "Road to Recovery: Transforming America's Transportation."
- Miller Center: Great American Debates - Infrastructure
(February 2009) in addition to video debate and recent updates on the issue, links to other organizations' resources on infrastructure.
- OECD: International Futures Program - "Infrastructure to 2030"
"Bring together experts from the public and private sectors to take stock of the long-term opportunities and challenges facing infrastructures, and propose a set of policy recommendations for OECD Governments."
- Popular Mechanics: Engineering topics
See "Infrastructure" for the most pressing infrastructure projects; see "Rebuilding America" for Popular Mechanics yearlong 2007 study of U.S. infrastructure.
- Rand Corporation: Infrastructure and Transportation
- Texas Transportation Institute
Divided into several research centers focused on ports, railroads, safety, mobility, etc. Free publications on "solutions to the problems and challenges facing all modes of transportation."
- Transporation for America
Includes research reports about transportaion policy and issues and interactive tools for mapping fare increases and funding deficit, structurally deficient bridges, and other transportation related issues by state.
- Transportation Summit 2011: About and Presentations
Gathering of international, national, state, and local transportation and infrastructure policy makers, from both private and public sectors.
- Urban Land Institute: Research and Priorities - Infrastructure
<a name="econ"></a>Analysis on how infrastructure affects the U.S. economy, in areas such as trade, transportation of goods and people, and labor.
Infrastructure and the Economy
- AFL-CIO: Testimony of Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, Before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Links to Congressional testimony transcripts of AFL-CIO President Trumpka and Chamber of Commerce President Donohue, who "agree on the vital need to invest in the nation’s transportation infrastructure to create jobs and boost the economy."
- American Society of Civil Engineers: Failure to Act Economic Studies
" Economic gains that could be made by 2020 in terms of GDP, personal disposable income, exports, and jobs if we choose as a country to invest in our communities."
- U.S. Department of the Treasury: "An Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment"
(October 10, 2010; opens PDF)
- Economist: America’s transport infrastructure: "Life in the slow lane"
- Financial Times: Special Report - "The Future of Global Infrastructure"
- Huffington Post: "Infrastructure Problems In U.S. Go Far Beyond Dollars"
- McKinsey Global Institute: “Growth and Renewal in the United States"
(February 2011) lists infrastructure as one of the areas that U.S. must improve "to meet the needs of a dynamic, growing, and productive economy, but its quality has been in relative decline."
- OECD Observer: "Infrastructure: Mind the gap"
(October 2007) "Infrastructures have always been part of the lifeblood of strong economies and societies."
- OECD: Economic Policy Reforms: "Going for Growth 2009"
Thematic Elements, Section II: podcast on the importance of Infrastructure for growth.
- Organization of International Investment: "Building Competiveness - American Jobs, American Infrastructure, American Global Competitiveness"
(April 2011) "Rebuilding America’s infrastructure can play a role in not just creating American jobs but also boosting the productivity of American companies—which in turn supports rising incomes for workers and their families."
- World Bank: Transport Papers
Resources on "Private participation in infrastructure (PPI)."
<a name="sec"></a>Analyses and news on infrastructure as part of U.S. national security and the potential dangers of not investing in, monitoring, and maintaining systems.
Infrastructure and National Security
Subscribe to the Daily News Brief
The Renewing America project explores six major domestic challenges facing the United States that have significant consequences for national security and foreign policy.
No Exit from Pakistan
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
Pathways to Freedom
An authoritative and accessible look at what countries must do to build durable and prosperous democracies—and what the United States and others can do to help. More
The Power Surge
A groundbreaking analysis of what the changes in American energy mean for the economy, national security, and the environment. More
View Complete List
Independent Task Force Reports
Now Available: Foreign Policy Begins at Home
New Foreign Affairs eBook: The Clash of Civilizations?