3_26 Infrastructure Broadcast (Urban Sprawl, Climate Change and More)

Hello, and welcome to this Infrastructure-themed GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Esri’s Geodesign Summit.

Today’s Top Story is Urban Sprawl. According to a new study by the New Climate Economy, urban sprawl costs the American economy more than $1 trillion dollars annually. Costs include greater spending on infrastructure, public-service delivery, and transportation.

Those living in the sprawl bear $625 billion dollars in extra costs, and all residents and businesses, regardless whether they’re in urban downtowns or rural mountains, bear an extra $400 billion in external costs.

Written by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, the report describes planning and market decisions that foster sprawl as well as smart-growth policies that can help save an average of $250 per person on infrastructure annually, saving more than $3 trillion dollars in the next 15 years.

Here are a few more tidbits from the report: Americans in sprawled neighborhoods are between 2 and 5 times more likely to be killed in car accidents, they’re twice as likely to be overweight as those in more walkable neighborhoods, who spend $5,000 less per year on transportation expenses.

That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this interview clip from Esri’s Geodesign Summit, another proponent of smart growth.

Check out this article in the inaugural print edition of Informed Infrastructure. You’re looking at the digital flip book version, and it describes how climate change is impacting America’s transportation system. We all have heard about aging infrastructure, and the perils of climate change, but this article ties the two together for a fresh take on infrastructure issues as well as ways to mitigate the problems.


To recap some recent financial news related to infrastructure, the Oregon Transportation Commission awarded $6.5 million dollars to six multimodal non-highway projects; the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration awarded $26.6 million dollars in grant funds for the Jacksonville Bus Rapid Transit North Corridor Project; and the Texas Transportation Commission approved the construction of 201 road projects valued at more than $2 billion dollars.

In industry headlines, Prague Energy signed an enterprise license agreement with Esri distributor ARCDATA PRAHA in the Czech Republic. Esri also announced that Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation deployed its advanced location technology to improve customer service, reduce costs, and improve decision making for its broadband infrastructure.

Topcon Positioning Group acquired Digi-Star, a global leader in agricultural solutions involving weight sensors and control systems for feeding, planting, fertilizer and harvest-equipment manufacturers.

The Space Foundation inducted into its Technology Hall of Fame Seismic Damper Technology from Taylor Devices, which is used to protect structures from the effects of high winds and earthquakes.

And Trimble released its R1 rugged, compact GNSS receiver that provides professional-grade positioning information to any connected mobile device using Bluetooth connectivity.

For today’s Final Thought, I wanted to recognize the amazing work being done by URISA’s GISCorps, which coordinates short-term volunteer GIS services to underprivileged communities worldwide.  In their latest example of continued good work, 22 GISCorp volunteers responded to aid the island nation of Vanuatu, which was devastated by Typhoon Pam on March 13th.

GISCorp partnered with Humanity Road and PeaceGeeks to provide spatial context to social media input, resulting in maps to share with the humanitarian community.

In a world that’s usually based on money, I applaud and deeply respect their volunteer work to generously help those in need. To learn more or join the GISCorp effort, visit this Web site:


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I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.