Local and national infrastructure is always an area that communities want to know more about. Infrastructure can provide opportunities, connect groups and create an environment of safety and inclusion. It can be confusing to understand who manages infrastructure and what the role of local government has in this space. If you would like to learn more about your local government‘s responsibility in infrastructure, then read on for a complete guide!
Improving and fixing
When public spaces are in disrepair then it is up to the local government to complete that infrastructure and works. If the library needs a significant refurbishment following damage that it would be up to the local government to complete that work. This is where road dilapidation survey technology can be very valuable. Essentially what happens is a government vehicle will drive around the area with a camera device on the car taking real-time photos and video of the surrounding area.
The idea is that the government can have a constant snapshot of areas that may or may not be dilapidated and can act on them in a more timely manner. If you call your council to repair something on the road they can access this imagery for that area, confirm the damage and promptly organise maintenance.
Identifying the needs of a community
Local governments have the data and population information to greater understand the needs of a community. That means that the local area should have facilities and amenities that accurately reflect those needs. If there is a high cultural diversity in the area, then infrastructure should be inclusive of these diverse communities. Perhaps there will need to be dedicated health clinics for these groups, and signage and wayfinding may also need to be inclusive of different languages.
The same goes for the community of people living with a disability. The local government is responsible for greenlighting infrastructure that is for individuals with different abilities and needs. This means catering to vision-impaired people, physically-abled people, neuro-diverse people and other invisible disabilities that can impact how individuals move through life.
Supporting state and national agenda
The beauty of any community is its unique identity, although local governments will be aware of the infrastructure plans for the state and national governments. This does not necessarily mean that they have to all implement the same buildings or even the same design appearances, but they will be abiding by general rules and intentions. Not surprisingly, most governments have put sustainability on the agenda which means that if local government is putting forward applications for new builds and amenities, they will need to meet the goals and guidelines of the state and national government.
The same will be true of environments like schools and childcare options. A local government can certainly influence the size and scope of a project, but the larger entities will have a role in dictating what sort of safety guidelines are relevant for these environments.
Encouraging and implementing feedback
Local government work for the local community, plain and simple. This means that they have a duty to encourage and collect feedback about infrastructure and adjacent issues and implement these within the government. If there is an area that is in disrepair, a wasted resource, a safety concern, or any other issue – this feedback can be put forward to the local government for action. This also shows the community that they have an active role in the future of their area, and it keeps the local government accountable for providing spaces that are of value to the community.
This feedback can be given and collected formally through written communication, ‘town hall’ meeting formats, online surveys, and any other direct communication with the local government. This can often be most prevalent when the government is in an election period, keen to gauge what voters are more interested in seeing in their infrastructure,
The local government is accountable for creating, maintaining and planning infrastructure that serves the people living in that local area. It will be interesting to see how this changes in generations to come as we are more aware of our social and environmental impact.