ASCE Report Highlights Best Practices for Equity in Infrastructure

The American Society of Civil Engineers released a new paper. Measuring the Benefits and Burdens of Infrastructure in Disadvantaged Communities looks at how several communities across the country consider equity when investing infrastructure funds, and the impact of those projects on lower-income communities.

Read the report here: ASCE Benefits and Burdens Report 2024

According to the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Infrastructure, or the built environment, is the foundation of a functional society. Basic physical structures and organizational facilities like roads, bridges, clean water, and dependable electricity are critical to public health and safety, national security, and economic growth. All communities should be able to experience the benefits of modern, reliable infrastructure. In addition, many communities endure burdens from lacking that infrastructure, and more effort is needed to achieve fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people. Burdens have also taken the form of infrastructure designed and placed without equitable and inclusive engagement with affected communities.

Communities across America are currently receiving once-in-a-generation levels of infrastructure investment from the federal government through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Many programs funded or established by these laws must follow the Justice40 initiative established by the Biden Administration, which requires 40 percent of federal spending from certain programs, including energy and infrastructure, go to disadvantaged communities. While the programs highlighted in ASCE’s latest report were implemented before the Justice40 initiative, the case studies illustrate how both urban and rural communities can successfully chart a more equitable, data-driven path into the future.

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Author: Hanna