These are KPMG's 2013 top infrastructure trends for the future:
Trend 1 – The cost burden shifts to the consumer
Cash-strapped governments are looking to shift infrastructure spend from the taxpayer to the consumer. So expect to see more end users paying for the infrastructure they use through for example toll-funded roads, business levies and rising bills.
Trend 2 – Governments having to become more active
Governments will need to be more hands in influencing the private sector to invest, either by offering guarantees or by creating a more welcoming environment for investment through smarter regulation.
Trend 3 - Pipelines are subdued but will return
In 2012, the infrastructure pipeline was pretty much non-existent. KPMG reckons the upside of this is that project owners will have more time to spend on preparing their projects so more chance of success when they eventually do come to market. They also expect deal flow to improve with US, Brazil, South Africa, China and India leading the way.
Trend 4 - Focus moves onto cities
Cities are increasingly driving economic growth, at regional and even at country level. Governments are connecting infrastructure investment to economic growth, which means supporting cities with the right mix of urban infrastructure to help them flourish.
Trend 5 - Making the most of existing assets
As greenfield projects struggle to see daylight, asset owners are looking at maximise existing assets. Whether it's extending the asset lifespan through a renewed focus on maintenance or adding bolt on' new technologies and innovations or even selling off the assets to reinvest into new ones.
Trend 6 - Resilience rises up the agenda
Lately there's been a number of significant events which have brought home the havoc and long term damage caused when infrastructure is brought down. Think Fukushima earthquake in Japan and Hurricane Sandy in US. Resilience is about protecting valuable assets from the impact of disasters natural or manmade.
Trend 7 - New infrastructure models emerge
As the market matures and shifts take place around us, infrastructure practitioners are asking questions about the long term value and how operational models can evolve to meet the dual requirements of growth and green agendas.
Trend 8 - The pace of technology quickens
Infrastructure sectors must do more to adapt with technological advancement by taking a longer-term view of how the right combination of technology can be integrated into their assets.
Trend 9 - Cost reduction comes into focus
As investment demand outstrips supply, many governments are scrutinizing infrastructure costs to see how they can be make them more affordable. Expect to see even more focus on costs.
Trend 10 - The war for talent and skills heats up
We need more skilled infrastructure and master planners, experienced developers, talented infrastructure fund managers, engineers…the list goes on. The situation will get worse before it gets better. However, countries like India, China and Brazil are helping by exporting their infrastructure talent to the mature markets of Europe and North America.