Water-related projects topped the list of infrastructure priorities for mayors, according to the 2019 Menino Survey of Mayors released this month.
Why it matters: The survey revealed urgency around investments in water, wastewater and stormwater facilities, with mayors 10 percentage points more likely to focus on that issue than four years ago.
- Extreme weather events and flooding is putting increased pressure on aging structures.
- A 2018 study found three-quarters of U.S. cities reported that heavy rain events or inland flooding had increased in intensity, frequency or location in the last five years.
The intrigue: When asked which project they would fund if they received a large unrestricted grant, only 4% of the 119 mayors surveyed listed broadband as a top infrastructure need. And broadband didn't make the priority list at all when asked about smaller-scale projects.
Between the lines: Both parties tout the benefits of broadband and 5G as being essential 21st-century infrastructure.
- But the fact that it's not among the top funding priorities suggests climate-related challenges and crumbling infrastructure like roads and bridges are seen as more pressing.
Go deeper: The water crisis cities don't see coming