One estimate suggests that $2.3trillion was invested in infrastructure worldwide last year.
That vast investment has provided roads, power plants, mobile phone networks, dams and recycling plants. Whether those investments have been sustainable is questionable.
As well as providing essential services that people need, infrastructure too often locks in carbon emissions, fragments habitats and opens them up for exploitation, appropriates land and exacerbates inequalities. In many respects, choices about infrastructure investment are a remarkable point of leverage, when the future course of development is set, literally, in concrete.Too often these decisions are subject to political patronage, rent seeking and worse.
This lecture examines the many impacts that infrastructure can have on sustainable development, for better or for worse. Professor Hall shares experiences of establishing long-term plans for sustainable infrastructure in many countries around the world.