Transportation expert Bob Poole recently released a report showing major cities how they could unlock billions of dollars in capital spending. Poole, who has long proposed innovative approaches to highways and airports, evaluated 31 major U.S. airports. His findings revealed that those 31 alone could generate $131 billion that could be redeployed to fund other infrastructure and address other critical urban needs.
The study brings attention to the opportunity for “asset recycling” — the process whereby local officials generate or harvest substantial infrastructure dollars from one set of assets by selling or leasing them and recycling the proceeds into another necessary area. Yet responsible elected officials harbor reasonable concerns about losing control or the optics of contracting away management of “the family jewels.”