Center for Sustainable Infrastructure
CSI focuses squarely on advancing a new sustainable infrastructure paradigm and practice in the Northwest and beyond.
Released April 2017, A Northwest Vision for 2040 Water Infrastructure, is the second report of the Five Big Goals for 2040 series. It paints a picture of how the Pacific Northwest can develop integrated systems to supply, purify, and manage water that are among the most sustainable and resilient in the world.
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Infrastructure—for many people it’s a boring word. But if the power goes out, traffic is snarled, the water faucet runs dry, or the toilet won’t flush—even for just a couple of days—the vital importance of our infrastructure systems can suddenly come into focus.
The U.S. will need to spend over $3 trillion on infrastructure in the next decade, just to keep our nation’s vital systems, like energy, transportation, water, and waste, in working order, according to experts. Will we spend that money wisely, investing in creative new approaches and sustainable innovation which will be better for the environment and more affordable?
The Evergreen State College has launched the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure (CSI) with a goal of developing innovative solutions to these massive public works challenges. Based at the college’s Olympia campus, the Center links regional innovators, advocates sustainable best practices, and develops skilled professionals who will put these principles to work in infrastructure development.
Recognition is growing that the standard infrastructure strategies that worked well for us in the past are not necessarily affordable now—financially or environmentally. The purpose of the Center is to advance a new sustainable infrastructure paradigm and practice in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, and to help Washington and Oregon to become nationally-recognized innovators.
The Center envisions a future for the region where sustainable, resilient, and affordable infrastructure systems provide vital services accessible to all, supporting healthy, prosperous, beautiful, and cohesive communities. But a shift of this magnitude will be not be easy.
A wide range of professions have a role to play, from the leaders of infrastructure agencies and utilities, to community planners and elected officials, builders and design teams, engineers and technology firms, financiers and lenders, advocates and regulators. The Center aims to develop tools and programs that will prove useful to them as they help Northwest communities transform how they think about, plan for, and invest in their infrastructure assets.