Every city wants to be recognized for its unique characteristics. Cities want visitors to be intrigued by what they have to offer, businesses to thrive in their surrounding environment, and residents to be proud to call it home. For all of this to happen, the infrastructure of cities – the structures and services that act as a basis for the economy and quality of life -must continue to grow and meet the demands of an increasing population.
In order to refurbish and modernize aging infrastructure assets, cities need both public and private sector investment. Let’s take a look at how investment from these sources helps create a diverse, revitalized city:
Public investment helps set the groundwork for cities to begin the process of revitalization. Investment in transportation, public buildings, parks, and other forms of vital infrastructure, support a thriving economy. This does not mean the maintenance of the city’s current infrastructure; rather, it means expanding the physical structures and facilities to support a flourishing city.
Arguably some of the most valuable components of infrastructure are public transportation and streetscapes. These two elements alone allow for residents and commuters to easily get to where they need to go. When people have the ability to get somewhere easily and cost-effectively, they have the ability to accept jobs in places not easily accessible to them before. They can visit restaurants they’ve always wanted to check out but always found too difficult to access.
Transportation and streetscape improvements open up a city and region to a greater population while also supporting areas that are dense and walkable. These infrastructure improvements will begin to pay off economically as private-sector investment begins to realize the benefits of a mobilized population. Which leads us to…
Residential buildings, hotels, markets, office buildings, and restaurants are just a few of the property types you will begin to see pop up when infrastructure is made a priority. This is where the private sector – companies and individual investors – comes in. People want more places to go. They want their urban neighborhoods to be enjoyable. Some people will enjoy it so much they’ll want to live, work, and participate in recreational activities in the urban core. This growing, thriving economy will provide immediate job opportunities, rejuvenate the city, and add to the support structure that public investment started.
There are other ways for companies to support the demand for infrastructure on a smaller scale – Social Bikes, for example. These are bikes provided for community use by private sector companies, but they truly benefit everyone involved. Not only are they a corporate marketing initiative, but they also support the demand for public transportation.
If the ultimate goal for the urban core is to have a 24/7 environment with a range of attractions and the infrastructure to support it, public/private investment makes this possible by creating a healthy downtown and a strong community.
If you’re interested in learning more about our investment strategies and portfolio, contact us at (716) 631-8000.