For some societies and cities it is a continuous question of how much resources we should invest in infrastructure. Access to funding is a major concern. The calculation of the viability of the project needs careful examination and evaluation. Societies have very different kinds of preferences and, interestingly, about time horizons for their deliberations.

There are examples that have been built to last a century and lasted 2000 years. Other worst scenario examples are built for just one World Expo and torn down afterwards. The Eiffel tower is such an example of the latter kind, but it lasted longer than 100 years by now. We should be thinking more about time horizons as it remains an often overlooked part of investment in infrastructure. The oldest city in Germany has many buildings from the Roman occupation that still characterize the city’s architecture. This remains an important economic factor for the city of Trier as an attractive location for tourists throughout the year. Only wars or negligence may cause severe deterioration if infrastructure has been built with an emphasis on its lasting value. The narrow-minded investment in downhill skiing like in the Swiss Alps is at best expected to last 20 years. For trees to grow there again it will take 50+ years. Sustainable investment will be viable and vital in many respects. High interest rates force us to recalibrate our societal and private s again. Taking into account a longer time frame for investment we indirectly build infrastructure that should last longer. Moving beyond short-termism is necessary, particularly in the field of investment in infrastructure.

Trier 2023-12