United for Infrastructure 2020, formerly known as Infrastructure Week, starts as a virtual event on September 14, with speakers addressing how the US can #RebuildBetter

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The COVID-19 crisis has changed how we live, work, and learn in many ways, in turn adding new stresses and placing new demands on the country’s infrastructure. This year’s United for Infrastructure event (formerly known as Infrastructure Week) taking place September 14-21, is bringing together government officials, community organizers, business leaders, and other stakeholders to discuss these issues and create solutions to keep America’s infrastructure going strong for future generations.

The annual event is hosted by United for Infrastructure, a nonprofit that advocates and educates policymakers and the public about the value of infrastructure. The week convenes a variety of experts to discuss the essential role of roads, water systems, airports, broadband, and other infrastructure in citizens’ daily lives, the economy, public health, and national security.

This year’s theme is #RebuildBetter, and sessions will examine how the nation’s infrastructure intersects with the many issues affecting society today, Zach Schafer, executive director and CEO of United for Infrastructure, told Business Insider.

“When we look at the COVID-19 pandemic from a public health lens and from an economic lens, when we look at issues around systemic racism and inequality that are very much in the news right now, when we look at issues around climate change and hurricanes and wildfires and extreme events — all of those impact infrastructure, and infrastructure impacts our ability to respond and adapt to those things,” he said. “What do we need to do to build infrastructure moving forward that helps us meet the needs of the future?”

The 2020 Infrastructure Week will look a little different than in previous years. Like most conferences these days, the event is all virtual, though Schafer said virtual aspects have been incorporated in the past. Sessions will focus on broader, national issues, where past events were more localized. Last year’s conference featured more than 150 events across the country with more than 500 affiliate organizations.

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Topics to include impact of COVID-19, equity in infrastructure, and investment

This year’s featured sessions include the “#RebuildBetter the United for Infrastructure 2020 Kickoff Event” on Monday, September 14, featuring Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, US Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue, and others. “They’ll be broadly talking about infrastructure in the era of COVID-19,” Schafer said.

“Infrastructure, Race, and Equity” on Wednesday, September 16, will feature Rick Wade, vice president of strategic alliances and outreach at the US Chamber of Commerce, Katrina Badger of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy and Equitable Communities program, and several others to highlight how communities can use infrastructure to fight inequity and inequality.

On Friday, September 18, “Future Proofing America’s Infrastructure for a Changing World” will together Majority Whip James Clyburn, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, and many others to discuss the policy changes and investment needed to ensure the country’s infrastructure is ready for the next 50 years.

Other Infrastructure Week events include the American Society of Civil Engineers Virtual Technical Conference 2020, …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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