Maximising Impact from Small Infrastructure Spending

Major engineering projects cost a lot of money and take a very long time to truly make a resonating impact in society. When trying to solve traffic issues, for example, new highways, public transport routes or stations are expensive projects that take long to be completed and are not miraculous solutions, as people won’t necessarily stop driving their cars because of a new bus route. So, how can an infrastructure project create lasting positive impact without costing a fortune?

1. Ask What They Want

Chances are, they don’t even know it themselves, so if you have an idea, find a way of introducing the topic on social media or in person, and see if it starts a conversation. Study whether it is addressing a problem that people have.

2. Focus on One Vision at a Time

You can’t do everything at once and do it well, so think about one idea to solve a problem – traffic! – that won’t cost a lot and focus on how you can improve that idea. If you focus on what you want to do, opportunities will come naturally.

3. Study What Works

Cycling paths are known to be a low cost high impact solution to traffic issues in major cities. Study success stories – what has worked well and what can be improved. Go from there.

4. Test it Out

Because these ideas are not so costly, in case they don’t succeed – which shouldn’t happen, given you’ve done your research –, you will learn what needs to be improved or done differently, so there isn’t much of a financial loss.

There is really no secret: we need to trial and test “simple” ideas that won’t break the budget in order to keep moving forward as a society. With time and experience we will learn how to improve them and maximise their impact.

This article was originally published on