[Editor’s note: The N.C. Progress Board, a group created by state lawmakers to track trends in North Carolina and set goals for the state, issued its first report in December 2001.
[Each week, the Philanthropy Journal spotlights an issue examined in the report. The goals, targets and analysis below are those of the Progress Board.]
North Carolina, long recognized for its strong roads system, wins renewed acclaim for a globally-competitive public infrastructure, and is considered the best-practice state for both its hard and soft public infrastructure.
Its hard infrastructure effectively integrates efficient transportation methods, reliable and affordable energy generation and distribution networks, safe and extensive water, sewer, stormwater and solid waste management systems.
Coupled with low-cost, high-bandwidth information and telecomm networks, the hard infrastructure provides the platform for the state’s prosperous economy and renowned quality of life.
The soft infrastructure encompasses the fiscal, regulatory and financing framework of state and local government.
It enables public officials and business leaders, together with heads of nonprofits, to respond creatively and quickly to new challenges.
This soft infrastructure energizes the state to compete in a dynamic, knowledge-based and communications-driven global environment.
Goals for North Carolina’s infrastructure include:
*Develop and maintain a balanced, nationally recognized transportation system for moving people, services and goods safely and efficiently.
*Ensure affordable energy, including electricity and natural gas, to fuel the state’s economy and ensure a high quality of life for all North Carolinians.
*Build and maintain safe and cost-effective water, wastewater, stormwater and waste management systems throughout all regions of the state.
*Support an information-and-telecommunications technology infrastructure that will help all residents, communities, organizations, and businesses achieve their economic, educational and social goals.
*Adopt flexible public policies and partnerships for competing in a dynamic economic, environmental and social environment.