Why do we need infrastructure?

We had our first evidence session of the Local Infrastructure Commission last week, discussing the relationship between infrastructure, wellbeing, needs, quality of life and all manner of other definitions describing the way we live a good life. For simplicity I’ll refer to it as wellbeing throughout this post but recognise that there are many different interpretations. These blogs reporting back from evidence sessions will most likely be longer than my usual blogs but bear with me while I try to convey the breadth and depth of discussion we had.

At this session we were particularly interested in how wellbeing is understood and how people think that infrastructure can or does contribute to that wellbeing. This merits attention because wellbeing is cited so frequently to justify infrastructure but these claims are generally very poorly evidenced. And perhaps equally importantly, it’s not at all clear how the notion of wellbeing drives decision making compared to other much more established outcomes like economic growth, for example.

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