News from the Global Infrastructure Initiative—December 2017

December 2017

From intermodal transit software to smart grids, technology has become an essential component of how today's cities deliver and operate their infrastructure. While the ubiquitous promise of "smart cities" holds great potential, it also comes with risk and complexity. Success will require investment in flexible platforms that can accommodate rapid technological shifts, behavior change from administrators and the public, and potentially new models of governance.

In this final quarter of 2017, GII is exploring how companies and cities are turning the smart city opportunity into reality. In addition to developing this issue of Voices, we recently led a site visit to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Saudi Arabia on "planning, financing, and delivering a new city." The use of technology is a major component of developing this massive $100 billion project; a recap of the key themes and lessons can be found here. We also hosted GII roundtables in Paris and Frankfurt; the Paris event, held during Paris InfraWeek 2017, explored the topic of reinventing France's construction sector, while the Frankfurt roundtable focused on digitizing construction and infrastructure—a major opportunity and priority for the industry today.

We were also thrilled to announce last month that the Fifth Global Infrastructure Initiative Summit will take place in London October 29–31, 2018. Our theme will be major project delivery and digital transformation, working in partnership with the UK Infrastructure Projects Authority. Consistent with previous GII summits, we anticipate an engaging discussion with 200 senior global infrastructure leaders from across the value chain. For more information, visit the Summit homepage.

Looking ahead, we are excited to announce our first two GII innovation site visits in 2018—one to Hyperloop One in California and Nevada in February and the other to Moscow's major urban growth projects in June. Please contact us at info@giiconnect.com if you are interested in joining one of these site visits.

Our first edition of Voices in 2018 will focus on charting the digital future of capital projects; the issue will feature an in-depth selection of articles, interviews, and videos exploring the business value of digitization and innovation, the ecosystem of solutions, and the steps to mobilize organizations for success. As always, we welcome your thoughts on Voices, and we hope you enjoy the Q4 2017 edition. For more details on upcoming events, visit our website or contact us at info@giiconnect.com.

Article

To promote wider adoption of document and process standardization in the infrastructure industry, public- and private-sector organizations should foster greater collaboration during the early stages of project development.

Michael Pearson, Nick Wong, Tony Giustini, Clare Burgess, Gianluca Bacchiocchi, and Joanna Lilley, Clifford Chance

Article

A shortage of affordable housing is taking a toll in every geography and on every segment of society. Several strategies can help governments free up supply of land, resources, and productivity.

Mourad Limam, Jan Mischke, Shannon Peloquin, Sangeeth Ram, and Jonathan Woetzel, McKinsey & Company

Article

As the costs of energy-storage systems continue to fall, engineering and construction companies will need to improve their operations to stay competitive.

David Frankel, Sean Kane, and Christer Tryggestad, McKinsey & Company

Insights and events on the world’s most pressing infrastructure challenges, delivered straight to your inbox. Join the GII community:

GII follows McKinsey & Company’s Privacy Policy