Deloitte: The Future of United States Infrastructure

ThoughtLab conducted a timely global survey for Deloitte to assess how social, environmental, economic, and digital shifts, accelerated by the pandemic, will transform the infrastructure and mobility landscape. The 660 respondents included senior officials in national, state, and local government, as well as top executives from non-profit and private-sector organizations involved in infrastructure projects. The study covered 18 countries in five regions.

A new economic reality calls for infrastructure reimagined: more digital, more sustainable, more equitable. From broadband to bike lanes, we asked experts how infrastructure will change.

  • Beyond roads and bridges. The shift to remote work and telemedicine has big implications for infrastructure. Purely “physical” infrastructure (roads, bridges, electricity) is shifting to more “physical-digital” infrastructure, with broadband, self-driving cars, and “smart infrastructure” taking center stage. New focus on the environment and broad social benefits are also reshaping infrastructure thinking.
  • The pandemic is shifting demand. Many respondents expect more work from home, more broadband, and more transportation options. However, only 4% believe that there will be fewer people living in cities.
  • Cybersecurity is a top concern. As government shifts to more digital infrastructure, cyber risk becomes a concern. About 76% of global infrastructure leaders expect greater focus on data security over the next three years.
  • Technology will reshape infrastructure. Many respondents expect artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and cybersecurity to reshape infrastructure—a clear signal that infrastructure is going digital.
  • Green infrastructure is in demand. About 60% of respondents globally said that they plan to invest in urban places for walking, cycling, socializing, and eating.
  • Infrastructure’s biggest obstacle? Talent. Interestingly, respondents see talent shortage as a bigger obstacle to executing infrastructure projects than budget constraints or regulatory barriers.