Jan 29, 2020

Mayors: Water tops city infrastructure needs

Reproduced from Menino Survey of Mayors, 2019; Chart: Axios Visuals

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

Go deeper

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.

Klobuchar squares off with Buttigieg on immigration

Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."

Investors see stocks overvalued, recession looming

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An overwhelming majority of the world's asset managers think stocks are overvalued and expect a recession this year or in 2021, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Boston Consulting Group.

  • Many say "the current bull market is running on borrowed time."

Why it matters: The survey of more than 250 asset managers and analysts who oversee $300 billion at firms that collectively manage over $10 trillion shows the continued apprehension of investors from around the globe.