U.S. infrastructure projects in need of funding
The snapshot below presents infrastructure projects in cities around the nation pending public or private investment, most of which respond to years of deterioration and the need for enhanced climate and environmental resilience. Addressing these needs will also spur significant jobs creation across sectors, integrate the voices of historically marginalized communities in planning and focus financial flows for maximum community and social benefit.
This mapping of cities that reported projects seeking funding is broken down into four regions in the United States:
CDP's mapping is indispensable to guide and focus investment as the U.S. government increasingly recognizes the need for a transformational investment in infrastructure that creates jobs and addresses the climate crisis. American cities have been leading the way on climate action and have highlighted their infrastructure needs. CDP’s disclosure and engagement with mayors and local governments provides a blueprint for where and how to best leverage investment.
The COVID-19 pandemic worsened isolation and income disparities, making infrastructure investment even more urgent. Addressing infrastructure meets many interrelated physical, social, environmental and economic needs, and presents a bold and exciting imperative to address challenges across the nation holistically.
In 2020, through the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System, 97 cities across the U.S. disclosed 304 sustainable infrastructure projects valued at US$25.6 billion. Cities reported that these projects still need at least an additional US$10.6 billion in funding or financing to be implemented. The projects include climate adaptation plans, and transportation, water, renewable energy generation and energy efficient buildings and retrofit projects.
In the Midwest, 24 cities across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin disclosed 51 projects that cost US$6.5 billion. Water management projects reported by cities in the Midwest cost US$5.6 billion.
40% of cities across the U.S. that reported risks to their water security identified inadequate or ageing water supply infrastructure as a threat, making it critical to invest in upgrades and modernization to address the dual demands of aging infrastructure and the increasing frequency and intensity of flooding in the region.
"Piping and pumping infrastructure in Cincinnati is aging. On a medium-term scale, we can expect that much of that infrastructure will need to be upgraded or replaced to deal not only with day-to-day water usage, but also with flood control, which will become more important as we anticipate larger and more frequent flooding events in the future."City of Cincinnati
Cities are developing projects to reduce their water security risks. Reported water sector projects include flood mitigation, stormwater management, wastewater treatment plants and other infrastructure critical to water systems.
The City of Alton, IL requires US$2.6 million to build a flood wall and sewer improvements to protect the businesses in the downtown entertainment district from flooding. The City of Evanston, IL is developing a set of projects that integrate multiple stormwater and flood mitigation, and will require an estimated US$100 million in investment.
“The City is working to develop a stormwater management framework that will provide structure and direction on how the City will respond to climate change impacts related to precipitation...With that knowledge in hand, the City could prioritize both public and private investment in stormwater and flooding mitigation strategies to reduce the overall risk of flooding throughout the community and focus on those who will be most impacted.”City of Evanston, IL
In addition to water management projects, cities in the Midwest identified energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The City of South Bend, IN is exploring opportunities for financing outdoor lighting conversion to more efficient LEDs.
“The City owns 3,000+ streetlights and outdoor lights. The City recently completed an inventory of city-owned outdoor lights and is currently preparing a plan to convert these streetlights to efficient LED technology. The City may finance this through an energy savings performance contract or an equipment lease.”City of South Bend, IN
With the U.S. rejoining the Paris Agreement and setting a goal of 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, renewable energy generation to power our cities will be a significant part of reaching this goal. Already, 98 U.S. cities have renewable energy targets, including the City of Ann Arbor, MI which has a 100% renewable energy by 2035 target for all municipal operations.
19 cities in the Northeast across Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont disclosed 50 projects that are worth at least US$581 million. Of the disclosed projects, 46% were related to buildings, energy efficiency and retrofitting projects, many of which were designed to enhance community resilience.
“As a part of the City's efforts to make it more resilient and prepared for disasters, we are planning to install emergency generators at critical facilities which would serve as Emergency Operations Centers in times of crisis/disasters. These facilities include a Fire Station, Medford City Hall and Medford High School.”City of Medford, MA
The City of Providence, RI has proposed a retrofit project that would cost US$813,000, which could serve as a resilience hub for the community.
“The City is seeking to retrofit its Davey Lopes Recreational Center into a Zero Energy-Ready Building (ZEB). The site, situated in one of the City's most disadvantaged neighborhoods, could potentially serve as a community resiliency hub, providing a safe haven during severe storms or heat events.”City of Providence, RI
As part of its Climate Action Plan, the Town of Princeton, NJ is looking to implement microgrids with renewable energy at its critical facilities, including the police station, fire department and sewage treatment facility. The U.S. Department of Energy’s New York-New Jersey Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership has assessed the microgrid potential of critical sites.
25 cities in the South across Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia disclosed 88 projects that cost US$11 billion. Almost 20% of projects identified by cities in the South were transportation projects, including electric buses, bike lanes and EV (electric vehicle) charging infrastructure.
The City of Roanoke, VA is seeking US$1 million for EV chargers and CNG (compressed natural gas) infrastructure, while the City of Takoma Park, MD requires US$1 million for bike lanes, bike share stations and enhanced pedestrian safety.
The City of Memphis is pursuing a project that is part of the Mid-South Regional Greenprint, which will create a regional Green Infrastructure Network of parks, greenways and bike paths. According to the City, the Green Infrastructure Network will require both public and private investment, with an estimated US$70-140 million cost to the private sector.
In addition to transportation projects, cities in the South identified 18 projects related to buildings, energy efficiency and retrofits, with total costs over US$600 million. Projects include building net-zero facilities, retrofitting existing buildings and initiatives such as weatherization programs, PACE financing and the development of local green banks.
“As the need for clean energy continues to grow, so does the need for affordable financing. Louisville Metro Government currently offers a PACE (EPAD) Program that helps commercial property owners repay private loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects but does not offer any financing mechanisms for homeowners. Partnering with a local credit union to start a Green Bank pilot program would enable residents to invest in cost-effective, clean energy projects and help the city meet its energy reduction goals.”Louisville Metro Government, KY
The Western U.S. had 30 cities, the highest number of cities disclosing projects and the most projects identified with 115 projects that cost at least US$7.4 billion. This includes cities across across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
29% of identified projects are related to transportation, with total cost of more than US$635 million. Many of these transportation projects are related to EV.
The City of Tempe, AZ aims to undertake an EV feasibility study to determine what capacity is needed to install EV charging infrastructure at city facilities.
The City of San Leandro, CA is seeking US$1 million in gap financing for the installation of EV charging stations and related electrical infrastructure and an additional US$1 million in gap financing for conversion of gasoline-fueled city sedans, police vehicles and utility trucks.
Renewable energy projects represented 15% of the projects disclosed by cities in the West. The Town of Vail, CO is planning a US$1.1 million utility scale solar array system within the town limits. The City of Culver City, CA is seeking financing for a combined solar and battery storage pilot project at the Senior Center and Veterans Memorial Complex. This microgrid would add an emergency shelter in line with the City’s Hazard Mitigation Plan.
In addition to transportation and renewable energy projects, many cities in the West face risks from extreme heat.
The City of Los Angeles is seeking US$500-750,000 to implement a neighborhood demonstration project to mitigate the urban heat island effect. The funding would support cooling materials, increase vegetation, community engagement, design, engineering and implementation costs.
CDP’s dedicated Matchmaker dashboard gives policymakers and investors alike insights into municipal needs, cities’ climate plans and actions and how cities are incorporating climate mitigation and adaptation into their capital plans and urban planning processes. Furthermore, CDP Matchmaker supports cities in developing these projects through workshops, trainings and exchanges with the capital markets – project developers, asset managers, banks and others.
U.S. cities can learn about and identify funding and financing sources through the CDP Sustainable Infrastructure Hub, including financing menus that describe funding and financing options for municipal sustainable infrastructure – from carbon neutrality to regenerative landscapes – plus, a toolkit for making climate infrastructure equitable that contains strategies and approaches for ideating, designing and financing projects that enhance racial and social equity. Cities can also share their projects seeking funding by participating in CDP's annual disclosure.
The projects highlighted here represent only a part of the needed infrastructure investment in American cities – but demonstrate the types of projects that cities need investment in to reduce emissions, create quality jobs and build more equitable and resilient communities. CDP’s Matchmaker dashboard, which showcases these and additional projects in the U.S. and globally, can be used by policymakers and capital providers to understand the infrastructure needs of U.S. communities and uncover investment opportunities to build resilient, equitable and low-carbon cities.
In 2020, 97 cities across the U.S. reported 304 sustainable infrastructure projects valued at US$25.6 billion. Please contact us to inquire about subscribing to the Matchmaker platform. If you are a City interested in sharing your projects seeking funding, please participate in CDP's annual disclosure.