- February 1, 2014: Vol. 26, Number 2

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The infrastructure imperative: Hard lessons about the importance of soft infrastructure

by Stephen Roulac


Infrastructure is most commonly considered tangible. In other words, transportation, utility and related projects necessary to make places — most especially cities — function effectively and reliably.

In many realms, though, intangible infrastructure is as — if not more — important than the tangible. To create a great place, superior hard property infrastructure is necessary, but not sufficient. Also needed is superior soft property infrastructure.

Places with superior soft property infrastructure have several primary attributes:


•                Institutional arrangements that facilitate market function and transactions.

•                Competence, as evidenced by professional service providers, builders and developers, investment managers of company facilities, and especially public officials being knowledgeable, professional, and ethical in their conduct.


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