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Emerging Issues Forum To Address Critical National Infrastructure Needs

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and co-sponsor of the National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007, designed to address the vital needs of the United States’ major infrastructure systems, will make a featured presentation on national infrastructure concerns at North Carolina State University’s 2009 Emerging Issues Forum. The forum, titled “Changing Landscapes: Building the Good Growth State?,” will be held Feb. 9-10 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Dodd’s presentation will kick off the forum on Monday, Feb. 9.

In addition to stressing the importance of infrastructure investment, Dodd will highlight new methods of funding infrastructure projects of substantial regional or national significance more effectively with public and private capital.

Speakers at this year’s forum will highlight specific, creative visions to improve North Carolina’s infrastructure, taking into account the future growth the state anticipates. Some of them include:

  • David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times, has gained national attention for a column cautioning Americans against seeing infrastructure spending as the cure-all for our economic woes. Despite mounting support for a national stimulus package, Brooks argues that by focusing on repairing the U.S.’s existing infrastructure, we may actually freeze urban and suburban innovation and quell any attempts at a transportation revolution.
  • Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London, was instrumental in improving London’s vast infrastructure network by securing substantial funding for transportation and housing programs. He oversaw the modernization of the entire bus service, and as a result, London has been the only city in the world to achieve a 5 percent shift from car usage to public transport.

The Emerging Issues Forum is a program of the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI), started in 1985 by former Gov. Jim Hunt. The state’s premier public policy conference, the forum annually attracts nearly 1,000 corporate leaders, legislators, university presidents, journalists, scientists and educators from around North Carolina, the region and the nation.

The cost to attend the conference is $350 for individuals and $225 for those in government, non-profit and higher education. To register or for additional information, visit the forum’s Web site at, or contact the IEI office at 919/515-7741.


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