President Donald Trump has said he intends to spend more than $500 billion, possibly even as much as $1 trillion, restoring America’s aging infrastructure.
Given Trump’s strong interest in Florida, where he vacations in his 124-room oceanfront Mar-a-Lago estate, it is likely a lot of that investment will go to the state, to manage growth, expand airports and even tackle the risk of sea-level rise.
After all, Trump’s luxury estate, like other Palm Beach properties, will need infrastructure to deal with sea-level rise. As Bloomberg News has reported, Palm Beach County’s online climate-change mapping tool projected that “the back quarter or so of Mar-a-Lago’s verdant, palm-tree-lined grounds would flood if sea levels rise two to three feet.”
Like many Florida communities, Palm Beach is already affected by flooding during high tide and storms and future increases in sea levels will only make the situation worse. Last June, experts in the areas of resilience and real estate called for more partnerships to tackle these vulnerabilities in Miami-Dade County.
According to The Hill, a private-public partnership (P3) is likely to be the Trump administration’s preferred funding model. This means private sector firms would be given incentives to build and maintain projects, then recover costs during operation. This method is believed to be cheaper and can fast-track infrastructure spending and construction.
While P3 arrangements are somewhat common in transportation projects, they can be used in broader civic infrastructure, from airports to reviving downtowns.
Mark Taylor, chief of staff to the Mayor of Long Beach Calif., will be discussing this investment innovation at the CityAge conference in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 22 & 23. He will be joined by Sheryl Sculley, City Manager of San Antonio, who is implementing P3’s already.
Trump promised his infrastructure plan would be revealed within 100 days in office. It’s a good bet Florida will be one of the early beneficiaries — if its cities and business leaders understand the P3 model and move quickly.