Building new infrastructure is no longer simply the talk of towns and communities in which various projects are to be implemented. instead, it has taken on a new, awe-inspiring, global character. In Europe alone, the European Commission estimates that investment of up to €2 trillion is needed in transport, energy and it infrastructure by 2020. Out of the ashes of the economic crisis, infrastructure is being promoted as a magic bullet. Yet, is this new burst of global investment hopes being based on new, more sustainable, less risky investment and financial foundations? This report discusses how and why the answer to this question is 'no', and seeks ultimately to outline some of the tentatively emerging alternative options.
Underpinning the report is a focus on the phenomenon known as 'financialisation': how it has developed over the last four decades, and how it is increasingly shaping and affecting ‘new build’ infrastructure. crucially, public money is shown to be heavily implicated in the financialised front line of new infrastructure development. Public money is being lined up to fund and bail out major investments with the potential to create serious environmental and social impacts. there are major questions pertaining as to forms of 'development' on offer, and to the fundamental issue of who and what is being developed via the public purse.