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Cities at risk from lack of infrastructure spending


May 19, 2010
By Andy Bateman

May 19, 2010 – Yesterday, CNews quoted
a new study which says the quality of life in Canada’s urban centres will depend
on sustainable infrastructure, but experts fear that a lack of spending,
especially on transportation, poses risks for cities.

“Today, the quality of life in Canada’s 12 largest cities ranks
“among the very best” but the future is not as bright, according to the study
commissioned by Siemens Canada in conjunction with the David Suzuki Foundation.

While 74% of experts participating in the survey rank the
quality of life in their city above average, only 44% are optimistic about
their city’s future without substantial investments in infrastructure to boost
competitiveness and protect the environment.

Less than half, or 41%, think their city’s leaders
recognize the importance of infrastructure decisions on the environment.

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Meanwhile, nine in 10 experts see a high need for
transportation spending – far greater than other areas.

Six in 10 experts, especially those in Atlantic Canada and
the Prairies, say that old or obsolete infrastructure is the biggest challenge
facing their respective cities.

And 63% of experts said transportation is the single
biggest factor when it comes to attracting private investment and remaining
competitive.

"What we've learned from this study is invaluable:
using infrastructure dollars more effectively will make our cities more
sustainable and competitive,” said Roland Aurich, president and CEO of Siemens
Canada.

GlobeScan collected views from a sample of experts on
issues related to infrastructure for cities from government, the private
sector, academia, and non-governmental organizations for the survey.”