Home / Businesswire / AECOM Launches Second Annual Global Report, The Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People, Finding City Residents Demand Greater Engagement in Infrastructure

AECOM Launches Second Annual Global Report, The Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People, Finding City Residents Demand Greater Engagement in Infrastructure

More than 10,000 people in 10 global cities weigh in on how
satisfied, safe, inspired and engaged they feel with their city’s

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AECOM (NYSE: ACM), a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure
firm, released its second annual global infrastructure report today, The
Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People
, which
captures data and opinions from 10,000 residents across 10 major global
cities — Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New York,
Riyadh, Singapore, Sydney and Toronto. The report is grouped into four
themes to gather insight into the public’s infrastructure needs and
ambitions for the industry: satisfaction, engagement, innovation and

“Residents of cities around the world want greater say in infrastructure
planning, and they are growing impatient with delays in the delivery of
modern infrastructure systems that can improve mobility, connectivity
and quality of life,’’ says AECOM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Michael S. Burke. “Their views should be a call to action for wider
government engagement, and new public and private partnerships that can
advance ideas, funding and advocacy, and speed the projects that lead to
growth and urban well-being.”

The survey’s results showed that while every city has its own distinct
identity, people around the world share similar views and experiences
with their infrastructure. While city dwellers have a positive outlook
for the future, they are also restless for action to improve their
infrastructure immediately. They are stressed when using public
transportation and want their cities to be greener, safer and better
connected. Most importantly, they want to have a voice in how
infrastructure systems are planned, paid for, developed and operated.

Five key insights from this year’s report:

  • There is a clear public engagement gap. Most of the cities
    underperform when it comes to engaging with their citizens on
    infrastructure, with an aggregate global average of 3.3 out of 10. It
    is highest in Mumbai (5.9) and lowest in Sydney, Chicago and Hong Kong
    (2.7 each). Respondents said they want a more focused interaction,
    which could go a long way toward improving perceptions of city
    governments’ performance on infrastructure and securing support for
    future projects.
  • Residents want to help — and some are willing to pay. Almost
    half (46 percent) of respondents overall are willing to share personal
    data — the lifeblood of smart cities — to help city agencies improve
    infrastructure and services. In several cities (37 percent of
    respondents globally), residents indicated a willingness to pay higher
    taxes to fund infrastructure improvements. Both commitments underscore
    citizens’ desire to play their part in delivering better
  • Boosting resilience against cyberattacks is a pressing concern.
    More respondents have confidence in their city’s ability to protect
    infrastructure against natural disasters and terrorist attacks than
    those who do not. However, less than one-third (32 percent) have
    confidence in their city’s defenses against cyberattacks. Citizens
    need increased reassurance from city authorities about the
    capabilities of their infrastructure to withstand such events.
  • Wanted: More private-sector involvement. A clear majority of
    city residents overall (63 percent) believe the private sector should
    be more involved in the development of infrastructure. This effort
    could help contribute to the financing, development and management of
    better infrastructure.
  • Upgrading public transportation and enhancing environmental
    sustainability are top improvement priorities. Upgrading public
    transportation — particularly roads and underground rail — is the top
    infrastructure priority for those surveyed. Improving environmental
    sustainability — through solar power, recycling and waste-water reuse
    initiatives, for example — is a close second and tops five cities’
    to-do lists.

This is a pivotal moment in the history of infrastructure. The Future
of Infrastructure: Voice of the People report outlines ways that
city authorities, infrastructure agencies, utility providers and
business stakeholders can ensure greater strategic engagement to secure
and maintain citizens’ support during projects, and following
completion. It also provides guidance for aspiring smart cities about
the benefit of exchanging data and ideas with companies, application
developers and other innovators, as well as an opportunity to obtain
citizens’ personal data if city authorities can ensure them it’s being
handled securely and contributing to specific improvements. Lastly, the
report confirms that sustainability continues to be important to
residents, and with high public interest, green initiatives can boost
engagement levels. While long-term planning is not going away, planners
who adopt an agile approach can test, design and scale projects at pace
— and engage more deeply with citizens.

The Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People report has been
produced by AECOM in collaboration with Longitude, a world-class leader
in quantitative and qualitative research. The report was compiled in two
ways. First, Longitude conducted a telephone survey of more than 10,000
people across 10 major global cities including Hong Kong (1031
respondents), Mumbai (1088), Singapore (1109), Sydney (1096), London
(1118), Riyadh (980), Chicago (1014), Los Angeles (1121), New York
(1128), and Toronto (1065). Respondents were not compensated for their
participation and AECOM was not identified as the research sponsor.
Second, the firm conducted qualitative interviews with a range of senior
figures in the global civil infrastructure industry where AECOM was
identified to them as the research sponsor.

To download The Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People report
or to review city-specific results, please visit www.infrastructure.aecom.com.


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