America has a $3.6 trillion infrastructure problem.
That’s what it will take to fix our aging roads, bridges, levees, water mains and other systems that support our communities and economies, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. In its most recent report, the group gave the U.S. a cumulative grade of D+ on its infrastructure.
Unfortunately, there’s little political will to invest in these repairs. The U.S. is not just underfunding infrastructure—it’s spending less on infrastructure than it ever has.
This has to change.
Fixing America’s infrastructure will require a fundamental shift in the way we think about—and fund—solutions. If we get things right, 10 years from now, as America celebrates its 250th anniversary, we could have cleaner water, healthier cities and safer coastal areas. We could see less concrete and rebar and more trees and green space. And it might cost less than we think.
This future is already emerging, as leaders across industries and sectors invest in America’s original infrastructure—the forests, rivers, wetlands and other natural systems that cool and clean our air, filter our water and protect our coastlines.
These natural systems are not fringe benefits, but rather central infrastructure solutions that can sometimes outperform our best technology.