• 16-MAY-2016

Infrastructure Week 2016

Infrastructure Matters: Better Infrastructure Means Building Smarter


By 2050, two-thirds of the world's population is expected to live in cities. With current U.S. infrastructure earning a D+ grade by The American Society of Civil Engineers, the country can't expect to sustain economic success and a growing population without acknowledging the impact it has on competitiveness and quality of life. The answer is building infrastructure that is smarter. Intelligent technologies not only improve systems, but make them more intuitive, safer, cleaner, and more efficient. All of which supports high-tech jobs in engineering and manufacturing, and provides cities with an opportunity achieve cost savings. Siemens has developed new, intelligent technology and software across energy, buildings, transportation and industry that improves and modernizes U.S. infrastructure to ensure the economic success and longevity of cities across America. For additional information, video and photos, visit Siemens' Infrastructure Week 2016 Interactive News Release and for expert insights, sign up for our blog and follow @SiemensUSA.


Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. was thought to have the best infrastructure in the world, but that's no longer true. The American Society of Civil Engineers' report card on the state of American infrastructure gave us a D+ and their recent economic report showed that between now and 2025 the investment shortfall will grow to $1.1 trillion. . We are relying on aging infrastructures that in some cases are over 100 years old. Most of our power grid was built before the Internet was invented. It is not only today's population that we are unable to sustain, but we cannot handle the forecasted growth over the next 20 years with our current systems. And with two-thirds of the world's population expected to live in cities by 2050, infrastructure has become the highest priority.


For the last several years during the month of May, business, labor groups, and policy-making leadership have come together for Infrastructure Week, a national initiative to discuss what infrastructure means to Americans and what can be done to address these critical issues. Traditionally, the conversation around infrastructure has focused on improving our roads and bridges, which is essential. But, it's important we recognize that infrastructure is made of more than concrete and steel. Infrastructure is also about power grids, transportation systems, the industrial base and smart buildings. Every sector has the potential to contribute to rebuilding and renewing our country's infrastructure. What we have to do is focusing on building infrastructure that is smarter.


By putting technology to use that is already changing our lives, we can not only improve infrastructure, but make systems more intuitive, safer, cleaner, and more efficient. Like in Port Manatee, Florida, where we just announced a new project that will manage physical and digital security infrastructure throughout the Port. This tool will allow them to better track the movement of goods, which is extremely important for a Port that moves approximately eight million tons of cargo annually.


And in Seattle, where new integrated traffic management software will connect traditionally separate traffic systems in and around the city to provide a clear view of issues and congestion in real-time. With this insight, the city will be able to plan better routes and manage traffic during special events like Seahawks games.


In Chicago, getting clean, drinkable water to its more than five million citizens is no small feat. The purification plants that bring water from Lake Michigan and turn it into fresh water must operate as efficiently as possible, which is why Chicago is upgrading power distribution infrastructure at the city's South Water Purification plant. The new technology will make the plant more efficient and will save the city millions in energy and maintenance costs.


With technology and software, cities can not only get the most out of our country's existing infrastructure, but plan for ways to better plan and build for the future. Every city is different, but for many, reducing carbon is a top priority. It's certainly a priority for Siemens and why we made a bold announcement to cut our global carbon footprint in half by 2020 and make our global carbon operations carbon neutral by 2030.


For cities, getting there is a test of how well you take advance of new technologies, but before taxpayer dollars or capital expenditures are allocated, city leaders deserve to have some proof that these technologies will pay for themselves. We're working with five U.S. cities including Washington, DC; New Bedford, MA; Riverside, CA; Minneapolis, MN; San Francisco, CA and Mexico City, Mexico to test a city planning tool that allows cities to make smarter use of the data. They can use the tool to both see where their big areas of need are and calculate which technologies will deliver the greatest impact.


As a company that with 50,00 employees across all 50 states that works with cities of all sizes throughout the U.S. and in more than 190 countries around the world we believe attention to upgrading our U.S. infrastructure is the kind of focus we need to create jobs, growth and economic opportunity for American workers in the 21st century. Building smarter infrastructure with technology and software will be an essential way to ensure the economic success and longevity of cities across America.