Bringing Infrastructure into the 21st Century
Rethinking the form, fit, and function of the nation’s infrastructure
The Erie Canal, intercontinental railroad, rural electrification, and the interstate highway system. Those infrastructures of the last two centuries were modern wonders of the world, innovative for their times. But now, after decades of use and deferred maintenance, much of the country’s infrastructure is failing or outdated. These systems are not just in need of repair, but in need of reimagining what infrastructure means to this century and the next. Booz Allen is bringing together stakeholders across government, the private sector, nonprofits, and academia to rethink the role that infrastructure could play. Our mobility, safety, health, prosperity, and security depend on reimagining the country’s infrastructure.
Our transportation systems, energy grid, water supply, natural resource delivery, even our financial system—the very constructs we rely on—are increasingly interdependent. How should we view that interdependence, as vulnerability or as strength? Reimagining infrastructure requires looking at the big picture of how different systems work together to impact our lives. Recognizing that interconnectedness is a first major step toward reimagining what our infrastructures could be and provide. Booz Allen is committed to helping government and the private sector reimagine the form, fit, and function of the nation’s infrastructure.
Going Beyond Legacy Systems
National discussions on infrastructure often focus on rebuilding or fixing. Government agencies spend enormous amounts of capital maintaining legacy systems—such as roads and bridges—that have outlived their usefulness. Although conventional wisdom says it’s cheaper and faster to fix existing infrastructure, many believe that’s a misguided notion. Compelling evidence shows that obsolete infrastructure poses real risks to our global competitiveness and national security.
Thinking Anew about Infrastructure
Infrastructure is a complex system that works in multiple dimensions. To bring infrastructure into this century and the next, we need to think beyond individual shovel-ready projects, leapfrog over legacy technologies, and see the many opportunities that lie within these interconnected dimensions. Booz Allen’s 8 Principles for Reimagining Infrastructure address not only the physical dimension of infrastructure, but also the resilience, sustainability, technology, mission or business model, policy, and human capital dimensions.
Applying a Comprehensive Vision
At Booz Allen, we don’t fix potholes or repair bridges. Our vision is more comprehensive than that. We apply innovative thinking and expertise to our clients’—and the world’s—toughest challenges, such as reimagining infrastructure. No one entity can address today’s complex problems in isolation, so we developed the concept of Megacommunities, bringing stakeholders together from business, government, and nonprofits to address complex issues in all their myriad dimensions. As in Megacommunities, we also assemble the best and the brightest from across the firm’s capability and market areas to help clients design meaningful solutions to big problems. And we participate in the world’s most important forums, such as the Aspen Ideas Festival and the Clinton Global Initiative.