infrastructure Johannes Eisele/Stringer

Het overbruggen van de infrastructuurkloof

SINT-PETERSBURG – Iedere dag staan miljoenen mensen in de ontwikkelde wereld en de ontwikkelingslanden in lange files of wurmen zich in overvolle metrowagons om naar en van hun werk te komen. En dat zijn waarschijnlijk nog maar een paar van de vele frequente – zo niet dagelijkse – confrontaties met infrastructuursystemen die uit hun voegen barsten. Zowel in geavanceerde als in opkomende economieën moeten wegen en bruggen worden gerepareerd, zijn waterleidingsystemen verouderd of ontoereikend, en zijn elektriciteitsnetwerken overbelast, wat tot blackouts leidt.

Te veel landen hebben decennialang te weinig geld in infrastructuur gestoken, wat alledaagse ongemakken met zich heeft meegebracht en – erger nog – heeft geresulteerd in blokkades op de weg naar economische groei. Hoewel er grote financieringsbehoeften zijn om de infrastructurele gaten te dichten, is het vinden van geld slechts een deel van de oplossing. Overheden moeten ook de infrastructurele planning en het toezicht daarop hervormen. Het publiek kan het zich niet langer veroorloven projecten te accepteren met kosten die uit de hand lopen.

Beleidsmakers kennen het unieke vermogen van infrastructuurprojecten om op de korte termijn banen te creëren en op de lange termijn de productiviteit een impuls te geven. Toch heeft al dat gepraat zelden tot actie geleid, ondanks de ultralage rente van de afgelopen acht jaar.

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