Urban Infrastructure

Cities remain key to a country’s economic success. As such, it is essential to invest in and maintain the right infrastructure to support those cities. Growing city populations are straining out-of-date structures and transport systems, and there remains a significant—and growing—gap between the need for new or improved infrastructure and the projected delivery of that infrastructure.


In the face of budgetary pressures, governments have to find ways to drive effective infrastructure improvements. Tomorrow’s cities need to harness smart technologies, link to rural areas and other cities, and become financial and social hubs that will attract more private sector investment, which in turn can fund further infrastructure improvements.

There is an estimated $25 trillion gap between the projected need for global infrastructure investments through 2030 and projected spending. But capital alone will not solve the challenges that exist today. Cities should also rethink the way new infrastructure projects are selected, executed, and managed.

Governments must stop investing in infrastructure as they have done in previous decades. Instead, they must clearly articulate and prioritize the most critical projects in infrastructure, formulate a holistic and integrated funding and financing strategy to address the deficit in infrastructure investment, enable and facilitate the use of the latest technologies to ensure that infrastructure investments today are future-proof, and build the government capacity and capabilities needed to address these challenges.

Necessary infrastructure investments in Africa are estimated to exceed $90 billion over the next few years, and such a significant challenge requires an approach that aligns incentives and focuses on delivery. ACAL’s methodology helps focus on fewer, higher-impact projects, accelerate those critical projects, and create very clear milestones that ensure the delivery and execution of immediate goals.


Targeting the right investments is the foundational first step. It demands an institutional solution with several components, including a rigorous, transparent, and independent review of all proposed investments, as well as a performance tracking mechanism. Decision-makers must also identify any assets that could be more efficiently managed under a privatized model.


Integrating deep knowledge of each transport mode with best practices in strategic planning, risk management, finance, project organization, infrastructure development and operations.

As transport infrastructure contributes to the economic output of a region, it is an important measure of productivity. However, developing efficient and cost-effective transport infrastructure is challenging. When deciding what to build, infrastructure planners and policy makers often need to balance complex political, economic, social, and environmental tradeoffs.

At the same time, transport infrastructure requires large capital investments, and public finances are increasingly strained. Stakeholders often face a difficult choice. Either they optimize an existing, flawed asset or they build something new; either they continue with a proven asset or they invest in sustainable technology. Transport projects that proceed often exceed timelines and budgets.

Combining economic and social development with financial modeling expertise to build new cities and redevelop existing ones.


Our Infrastructure Practice combines deep knowledge of individual asset classes—roads, railways, and metropolitan transport systems—with distinct functional expertise. By drawing on insights from other industries and applying best-practice tools and methodologies developed through client work, we bring a fresh perspective to complex problems within the transport industry. Our network of transport development consultants advise clients on the following topics:

Planning, financing, and risk management.

We support clients on asset planning and prioritization, financial projections—including demand modeling, and business and operating models. We also work with clients to define contracting strategies—including public-private partnerships (PPPs)—and to manage risk.

Stakeholder management and project organization.

Drawing on our extensive experience serving transport authorities, government agencies, banks and funds, and other public and private entities, we work to ensure that stakeholders are aligned and project outcomes are mutually beneficial. In particular, we have strong experience advising clients on risk and regulatory management.

Value engineering.

We systematically apply design-to-cost and design-to-market principles. To maximize the value of transport infrastructure, we apply proprietary tools and methodologies, including engineering trade-off approaches, construction cost benchmarking, and clean sheet analysis.


ACAL Consulting works with regional governments, urban planners, foundations, non-profits, utilities, and businesses to plan and develop new cities and redesign existing urban areas. Our consultants collaborate with colleagues in complementary practices, such as Travel Transport & Logistics, Sustainability, and Public Sector, to bring cutting-edge solutions to our clients. Throughout the lifetime of a project, we work closely with clients to build their capabilities and ensure the sustained impact of these projects. Our role includes:

  • developing economic master plans for new and existing development zones
  • assessing the requirements for and economic feasibility of major infrastructure associated with development
  • modeling the economic and environmental impact of major infrastructure on cities
  • evaluating and launching performance improvement programs for major city infrastructure-related services
  • providing project management support to establish and develop major urban infrastructure projects



© 2020 ACAL Consulting


Combining economic and social development with financial modeling expertise to build new cities and redevelop existing ones.