Chicago's Infrastructure Trust: A Guide for Funding Projects, or Building Bad Deals?

Tim Logan dives deep on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's bold plan to help fund Chicago's infrastructure improvements with private capital. American cities need new ways to pay for projects, but can a city with a history of making bad deals provide the road map?

"Governments across Europe, Canada and Australia have long turned to the private sector to help finance public assets, and even in the U.S., more places are dabbling in it," writes Logan. "But it’s still rare for cities to take the lead. And no place, at least in this country, has tried what Chicago is launching this year: A non-profit agency devoted to tapping private capital through structured financing while retaining public ownership, both for big-ticket items but also for workaday municipal infrastructure."

"A lot of people are watching what’s going on in Chicago, and if the 'City That Works' can make this work, it could hold the key to an evolution in public-private partnerships — and the way our cities get built."

Full Story: Rahm Emanuel Has an Idea


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