Growth in human population and economic development strain the world’s finite resources such as land, water, materials, food and energy. To maintain and in some cases, improve our quality of life, we need to develop sustainably – such that our development meets our needs for natural resources, industrial products, energy, food, transportation, shelter, and waste management; conserves environmental quality (indoor and outdoor) and reduces growing social and economic inequities. With urbanisation estimated to grow from around 53% as of this writing to 64% by 2020 and 70% by 2050 and close to 6.3 billion people inhabiting our urban settings in the near future – how do we do it? Intrinsic to sustainable urban infrastructure design is the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance and disposal of a city’s infrastructure.
How do we address urbanisation, existing infrastructure and new infrastructure in a synergistic manner? The question that will continually be asked is – Can we fix it, can we change it to match our future needs or is it more cost effective to raze and start over? Which option gives us the best long term ROI? And finding those answers will be an exercise in 3-dimensional (3D) geospatial decision- making.