Financing Infrastructure in the 21st Century City: “How Did I Get Stuck Holding the Bag?” GCP-06-02

Michael A. Pagano with David Perry
Michael A. Pagano is Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Public Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
David Perry is Director of the Great Cities Institute at the University Of Illinois at Chicago.

This essay identifies critical issues in financing city infrastructure and a realistic set of options available to policymakers. In particular, the report examines trends toward decentralization and fragmentation of governmental and financial institutions and toward market-based and consumer- or customer-oriented policies. Urban policymakers today find themselves in the position of negotiating with neighboring communities, competitive markets, and citizens in a fragmented governance system. What appears to be little more than organized chaos has evolved over decades into the complex, if not always rational, system of infrastructure finance and governance in which cities find themselves today.

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