On Wednesday, September 9th Primera President & CEO, Erin Inman, participated in an infrastructure hack-a-thon aimed at formulating recommendations on how to leverage funds to spur economic recovery from COVID-19, and to also help create jobs and improve the equitable distribution of capital investment and services within the City of Chicago. The event titled “Redefining Equitable Infrastructure Investment in Chicago” was organized by AEC powerhouse AECOM and Resilient Cities Catalyst, a nonprofit aimed at helping cities change the way they plan and act.
The session was prompted by the successful coordination efforts by the City of Chicago in response to the current health pandemic. The initial citywide response to COVID-19 proved that the City’s resources can quickly and efficiently come together to make decisions and protect its most vulnerable communities. With collaboration efforts top of mind, AECOM and local industry partners and experts are using this as a catalyst to help drive the City towards a resilient and sustained recovery, particularly as it relates to infrastructure spending.
The hack-a-thon included a healthy discussion on three potential solution areas that would change the way the City allocates resources for a stronger, safer and more equitable future. The three areas discussed include: better budget coordination, having clear investment standards, and intentionally promoting economic development through infrastructure spending. As experts in solving complex design, planning, engineering and consulting challenges, Primera was called on to provide our input and real-world experiences to help determine ways to implement the solutions above. Specific recommendations will be presented to the City and other infrastructure providers that will hopefully fuel economic recovery from the pandemic, create jobs, and improve equitable distribution of capital investment and services within Chicago.
AECOM is the world’s premier infrastructure firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle. They provide Archaeology, Architecture & Design, Asset Management, Construction, Cost Management, Decommissioning & Closure, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Services, International Development, IT & Cyber Security, Operations & Maintenance, Planning & Consulting, Program, Management/Construction Management, Risk Management & Resilience and Technical Services. AECOM has approximately 87,000 employees, and is number 157 on the 2019 Fortune 500 list.
Risilient Cities Catalyst is a nonprofit that was founded by members of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) leadership team to help cities change the way they plan and act. In partnership with a community of urban resilience actors, they are leveraging their experience and this pioneering ecosystem of partners and practitioners to apply lessons, insights, and resources to advance this critical work.