Keynote by Heike Henn

The outbreak of the viral COVID-19 pandemic has brutally exposed weaknesses in existing infrastructure systems: “grey infrastructure” expansion and the associated destruction of ecosystems facilitate the spread of zoonotic diseases, whilst excessive reliance on just-in-time transport infrastructure and value chains increases our vulnerability to global shocks. At the same time, sustainable infrastructure is part of any successful response to the crisis: Whilst in the short-term, investments in infrastructure are critical to economic recovery and job creation, the delivery of key public services from health infrastructure to water and sanitation facilities will increase resilience toward pandemics in the long-term. With 75% of all infrastructure predicted to exist by 2050 not yet built, governments must seize the opportunity of stimulus packages to set the world on a zero emissions path toward SDG delivery.

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