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Principles of Sustainable Infrastructure- Are these the right ones?

  • 1.  Principles of Sustainable Infrastructure- Are these the right ones?

    Posted 05-26-2020 08:15 AM

    As part of the implementation of UNEA Resolution 4/5 on sustainable infrastructure , UNEP convened an Expert Working Group to develop a Good Practice Guidance Framework for integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure. The guidance framework identifies principles that policymakers can follow to integrate sustainability throughout the infrastructure lifecycle at the systems level.


    UNEP has opened these draft principles for comment until June 19, 2020.  What additions,changes, edits, would you suggest?


    As background and for comparison, here are links to the ASCE Roadmap, ICE Route Map, and the ICE Twelve Guiding Principles for prioritizing and planning infrastructure


    1. Infrastructure policies and decisions should be based on strategic planning that is aligned with global sustainable development agendas and supported by enabling policies, regulations and  institutions that facilitate coordination across departments and levels (national and sub-national) of public administration. 
    2. Infrastructure planning and development should be based on a good understanding of infrastructure service needs and informed by the diverse solutions available to meet the needs. This includes understanding and managing the changing demand for infrastructure and meeting needs through renovating or rehabilitating existing infrastructure before investing in new infrastructure. Systems-level planning of Infrastructure projects should promote synergies for improved connectivity, which can lead to improved productivity, efficiency, sustainability, and spillover benefits of investment. Flexibility and resilience should be built into infrastructure plans to account for changes and uncertainties over time.
    3. Infrastructure's environmental, social, and economic sustainability should be assessed as early in the planning and preparation cycle as possible, covering both financial and non-financial factors across interdependent projects, systems, and sectors over their life cycles. Assessments should consider the aggregate impacts on ecosystems and communities at the landscape scale, beyond a project's immediate vicinity, and account for transnational impacts.
    4. Adverse environmental impacts from infrastructure should be minimized, and natural capital
      enhanced to the greatest degree possible. Construction should be avoided in areas important for the persistence of biodiversity or of high ecosystem service value. The development of physical infrastructure should seek to complement or strengthen rather than replace nature's ability to provide services such as water supply and purification, flood control, and carbon sequestration. Nature-based solutions should be prioritized.
    5. Circularity and the use of sustainable technologies and construction materials should be planned and designed into infrastructure systems to minimize their natural resource footprints and reduce emissions, waste, and other pollutants.
    6. Infrastructure investment must be balanced between social and economic priorities. Infrastructure should provide accessible and affordable services equitably to all with a view to promoting social inclusion and fostering economic empowerment and social mobility and protecting human rights. It should avoid harm to communities and end-users-especially those who are vulnerable or marginalized-be safe and promote human health and well-being.
    7. Infrastructure should create employment, support local businesses, and build amenities that benefit communities, thereby maximizing and safeguarding its economic benefits.
    8. Infrastructure development should ensure fiscal transparency, financial integrity, and debt
      sustainability.
    9. Infrastructure development should be underpinned by transparent planning, information sharing and decision-making processes that facilitate meaningful, inclusive, and participatory stakeholder consultation, and in the case of indigenous peoples, their free, prior, and informed consent. National, sub-national, and project-level grievance mechanisms should be available for addressing stakeholder complaints and concerns.
    10. The planning and management of infrastructure throughout the lifecycle should be informed by key performance indicators, which should promote data collection, including data that is disaggregated by stakeholder groups. Regular monitoring of infrastructure performance and impacts is necessary to generate data, which should be made available to all stakeholders.


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    William Kelly Ph.D., P.E., ENV SP, F.ASCE
    MR
    Silver Spring MD
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  • 2.  RE: Principles of Sustainable Infrastructure- Are these the right ones?

    Posted 10-24-2020 08:58 PM
    Hi Bill,
    and 'yes,' I see your date has passed.

    Now, if interested, please checkout a more recent post,
    • "Q. Who analyzed how the post-construction risk management plan applied to the "Pensacola Bay Bridge" from the operator's point of view
    I would be interested in your take on my concern, i.e., life cycle of operational risk mgt after project in use.
    Stay Healthy!
    Cheers,
    Bill

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    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
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