Procurement innovation may sound like an oxymoron, but government spending is a common thread in all of our most important policy debates: healthcare, infrastructure, tech. You name it. This post is a response to Jen Pahlka’s call for ideas leading up to Code for America’s 2018 Summit to improve how governments work with technology vendors to deliver better services and more cost-effective outcomes for every taxpayer dollar. That’s a goal we whole-heartedly support, and below are our suggestions for accelerating procurement innovation beyond the tech sector.
Communities across the country are looking for ways to leapfrog to smarter, more sustainable…
This year marks our 5th year at re:focus. In looking back on the past five years, we have been reflecting on how far the field of resilience practice has come. Here are some of the surprising lessons we’ve learned along the way.
Usually investments to make infrastructure, like water and energy systems, more resilient are seen as extra costs. Over the past five years, we’ve worked with dozens of cities to show how the reverse could be true. Planning for resilience up front can create cost savings and open up new financing opportunities for local governments.
There is a fine line between policy that is so narrow that it stifles innovation and proposals that are too general to mobilize any real action on the ground. The White House infrastructure agenda rolled out this week wanders alarmingly between these two extremes without ever striking a balance.
Any successful federal infrastructure policy needs to acknowledge that infrastructure is a “big tent” issue. The more money that is dangled out there as an incentive to motivate new infrastructure investment, the more we will see very different types of projects suddenly called infrastructure.
We work on infrastructure at re:focus. Our mission is to build stronger, smarter, and more resilient communities. For anyone focused on infrastructure, climate change is not an abstract issue. Climate impacts are already visible in every single sector, from roads and bridges buckled under extreme heat to coastal communities struggling to manage ever higher and more frequent floods.
Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement is not only bad climate policy, it is also lousy infrastructure policy.
Any infrastructure agenda is a climate agenda.
There are no takers for new bridges that are likely to wash…
The US is in desperate need of new infrastructure investment. Cities across the country are dealing with aging and failing systems, and there is a huge opportunity to leapfrog to new technologies — with more distributed, resilient, and green infrastructure projects. Making this leap successfully depends on thousands of small and medium-sized communities like Flint, MI and Gloucester, NJ taking action to replace legacy assets, like combined sewer systems. Funders and investors have to do a better job of attracting these new types of applicants and projects, because without them, investment in new infrastructure will never scale. …
Founder & CEO, re:focus partners — Co-founder @_The_Atlas Marketplace — Former EPA, current resilience renegade