Portal:Infrastructure

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Infrastructure Portal
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Welcome to Wikipedia's infrastructure portal, your gateway to the subject of infrastructure
and its monumental importance for everyday society and the economy.


Infrastructure Portal

State Street Bridge on the Chicago River in Chicago, Illinois.

Infrastructure generally refers to the basic physical structures and facilities, often government-owned, needed for the effective operation of a society or economy. They include the critical assets that are essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions. More specifically, infrastructure facilitates the production of goods and services, the distribution of finished products to markets, and provision of basic social services such as schools and [hospitals. Public works and public capital are common terms for government-owned infrastructure. Examples of such infrastructure assets and facilities include the following:

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Skye Bridge, a road bridge over Loch Alsh, connecting mainland Highland with the Isle of Skye, Scotland, an example of a PFI project.

The private finance initiative (PFI) is a way of creating "public–private partnerships" (PPPs) by funding public infrastructure projects with private capital. Developed initially by the Australian and United Kingdom governments, PFI and its variants have now been adopted in many countries as part of the wider neo-liberal programme of privatisation and financialisation driven by an increased need for accountability and efficiency for public spending, national governments, and international bodies such as the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. PFI has been controversial in the UK; despite some high-profile problems with specific projects, the National Audit Office felt that it provided good value for money overall. The private finance initiative (PFI) is a procurement method which uses private sector expertise and resources to deliver public sector infrastructure and/or services according to a specification defined by the public sector. It is a sub-set of a broader procurement approach termed Public Private Partnership (PPP), with the main defining characteristic being the use of project finance (and in particular, using private sector debt and equity) to deliver the public services. As well as developing the infrastructure and providing finance, private sector companies operate the public facilities, in many cases using former public sector staff who have had their employment contracts transferred to the private sector through a process that protects their entrenched rights known as TUPE. Every PFI deal has its own particular characteristics.

The PFI is a ultimately a form of project finance, a form of private sector delivery of infrastructure that has been used since the Middle Ages. However, the pedigree of the current private finance initiative (PFI) was in Australia in the late 1980s. In 1992 PFI was implemented for the first time in the UK by the Conservative government of John Major. It immediately proved controversial, and was attacked by the Labour Party while in opposition. Labour critics such as the future Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt considered that PFI was really a back-door form of privatisation, and the future Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling warned that "apparent savings now could be countered by the formidable commitment on revenue expenditure in years to come". Nonetheless, the Treasury considered the scheme advantageous and pushed Tony Blair's Labour government to adopt it after the 1997 General Election. Two months after the party took office, the Health Secretary, Alan Milburn, announced that "when there is a limited amount of public-sector capital available, as there is, it's PFI or bust". PFI continued and, in fact, expanded under Labour, resulting in criticism from many trade unions, elements of the Labour Party, the Scottish National Party (SNP), and the Green Party as well as commentators such as George Monbiot and academics such as Prof. Allyson Pollock, Mark Hellowell, Prof. Jean Shaoul and Dr Adrian Bell. Proponents of the PFI include the World Bank, IMF and (in the UK) the CBI [1] Both Conservative and Labour governments have sought to justify PFI on the practical grounds that the private sector is better at delivering services than the public sector. This position has been supported by the UK National Audit Office with regard to certain projects. However, critics such as Pollock and Monbiot claim that many uses of PFI are ideological rather than practical. In her book NHS plc Allyson Pollock recalls a meeting with the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown who could not provide a rationale for PFI other than to "declare repeatedly that the public sector is bad at management, and that only the private sector is efficient and can manage services well."

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The latest type of EMU on Beijing Subway Line No.1.


Diagrams

Graphical phases in the life cycle of a facility
Public Vs. Private Provision
Infrastructure Systems
Cash Flow


Selected biography

Henry Conybeare (23 February 1823 – c.1884) was an English civil engineer and Gothic revival architect who designed two notable churches and greatly improved the supply of drinking water to Mumbai. He qualified as an engineer and moved to India while still in his twenties to work on the Bombay Great Eastern Railway project. In 1852, Conybeare produced an influential report to the Bombay Board of Conservancy entitled "Report on the Sanitary State and Sanitary Requirements of Bombay". He became Superintendent of Repairs for Bombay, where his plans for a water-supply scheme were accepted in 1855. The Vihar Lake supplied the first piped water to the city in 1860, and its water-works are still in use today.

Conybeare's work during his later years in Great Britain included:

Cefn Coed Viaduct

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Critical infrastructureBridgeBroadbandBrownfieldsDamsEmergency serviceFloodgateHazardous wasteHospitalIncinerationLandfillLeveeParkPublic healthPublic housingPublic utilityPublic schoolPortRecyclingSolid wasteTelecommunicationsTunnelWaste management

Electrical InfrastructureAlternating currentBatteryDirect currentDemand responseDeregulationDistributionElectrical gridGenerationIndependent Power ProducerLoad managementNatural monopolyPower outagePower plantRegional transmission organizationSmart gridSubstationTransformerTransmission system operatorTransmission

Energy infrastructureBiofuelCarbon footprintCoal productionEnergy efficiencyEnergy lawEthanol fuelFossil fuelHydropowerKyoto ProtocolNuclear powerOil refineryPhotovoltaicsPollutionRenewable energyStorageWind power

Transportation infrastructureAviationAirlineAirportBargeBusCargoCommuter railControlled-access highwayFerryFreightHighwayInter-city railIntermodal freight transportJust-in-time (business)Limited-access roadLock (water navigation)LogisticsPublic transportRail transportRapid transitRight-of-wayShippingSupply chainTransport

Water infrastructureCombined sewerDiffuserDrinking waterGroundwaterMacerationPipeReverse osmosisSeptic tankSewageSewage treatmentSewage collection and disposalSewer overflowSewage pumpingStormwaterSurface waterSurface runoffWastewaterWater pollutionWater supplyWater treatmentWater tower


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