Trend 5: Embracing the evidence

Trend 5: Embracing the evidence

Governments take a much more analytical and evidence-based approach to the way they plan and prioritize their infrastructure investment.

View of city from spectacles

Over the past year, we have seen governments take a much more analytical and evidence-based approach to the way they plan and prioritize their infrastructure investment. 

In part, this is being driven by increased data availability and analytical capabilities, which are allowing authorities to conduct much more effective and informative scenario planning (see Trend 2 for more on this). But it is also being catalyzed by an increased recognition that technologies, models and citizen/user/customer expectations are rapidly changing (more on this in Trend 9).

All over the world we are starting to see a much more analytical, data-driven, evidence-based and technocratic approach to infrastructure planning, prioritization and development. And that is enabling infrastructure authorities to not only make better decisions, but also create stronger consensus in society to support those decisions.

Canada, for example, has recently published its first Core Public Infrastructure Survey, a comprehensive inventory of the country’s assets, providing a definitive statement of the condition as well as the extent of the nation’s infrastructure.    

Others are using technology to help understand how their decisions will influence the built environment. Singapore is currently working on a project to create a digital twin of the entire city state. KPMG member firms have worked with authorities to create ‘activity - and agent-based models’ that collate hundreds of data sources to produce a minute-by-minute spatial representation of movement within a specific region, thereby allowing those authorities to understand the impacts and interdependencies of their decisions.

However, while some governments have already made significant progress moving towards evidence-based decision-making processes, we believe there is still significant scope for the wider application of data and analytics within the infrastructure planning and prioritization process. 

Over the coming year, we expect to see infrastructure authorities and planners move towards more holistic and evidence-based decision-making processes. And that, in turn, will allow governments to take a much more informed approach to delivering on society’s needs and expectations.

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