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Sustainability - Sustainable Infrastructure

The unprecedented demographic and economic changes that have taken place in Southeast Michigan over the last decade, combined with the aging of our infrastructure system and the decline in available revenue to maintain it, have led to an infrastructure crisis in our region.  Roads are deteriorating at an alarming pace, and the vast majority of our water and sewer infrastructure is over 50 years old – well past its useful life.

In 2009, SEMCOG formed an infrastructure task force to discuss the emerging infrastructure crisis in the region and identify specific actions the public and private sector must take to create a sustainable infrastructure system that will promote economic prosperity and preserve our quality of life. The resulting report, Creating a Sustainable Infrastructure System in Southeast Michigan, , identifies a number of needed actions:  

  • Reducing costs;
  • Redesigning revenue collection systems;
  • Strategically investing and disinvesting to make efficient use of infrastructure;
  • Managing infrastructure based on a holistic view of needs and outcomes;
  • Developing an agenda for specific legislative/regulatory reforms; and
  • Promoting education and disclosure.

Sustainable Infrastructure Discussion Papers

SEMCOG has prepared a series of papers to stimulate discussion among local elected officials, infrastructure service providers and the general public on a number of Sustainable Infrastructure Issues.

SEMCOG Infrastructure Public Opinion Survey

Understanding how the public perceives the current infrastructure system and what they believe should be done to improve it are key to developing effective policy actions and gaining the necessary support to implement those actions. In the fall of 2012, SEMCOG conducted a regionwide survey of over 1,500 residents.  The results of this have been shared with various stakeholder groups including local elected officials, state government agencies and infrastructure service providers.

Actions to Address Legislative and Regulatory Barriers


Contact Joan Weidner for additional information on SEMCOG Sustainable Infrastructure activities.