Why and How to Build Sustainable Infrastructure: A proposed training course


To build capacity and knowledge within developing countries to make sound decisions regarding infrastructure planning that drive economic growth while protecting the environment and communities.

The Need

The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in investment in railways, roads, energy projects, and ports in the developing world, aiming to address a multitrillion dollar “infrastructure gap.” Led by China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the coming decade is likely to see even larger infrastructure investments. While infrastructure is fundamental to economic development, historically large-scale projects have had unintended negative impacts on the environment and local communities, often outweighing the economic benefits.

Recipient countries can have significant control over infrastructure selection and design, but infrastructure planning and impact mitigation tend to be ad hoc, focused narrowly on site-level impacts, and uncoordinated across disciplines, sectors, and landscapes. Building capacity within developing countries can empower decision makers and civil society to move from business-as-usual infrastructure development toward strategic infrastructure planning that better accounts for economic, social, and environmental outcomes.

The Proposal

The Nicholas Institute, with a number of partner institutions, proposes to create an online training course to help fill this need. Online courses represent a means of efficiently reaching a large, dispersed audience. Our proposed initial training activity will be a massive open online course (MOOC), entitled Why and How to Build Sustainable Infrastructure, hosted on the SDG Academy platform.  This course is part of a larger proposal for online and in-person capacity building that is under development.

How to Help

We want to tailor Why and How to Build Sustainable Infrastructure to the needs of our audience. Please watch the trailer below to learn more about this online course, then answer the short survey to tell us what you think is important to include in this training.

Trailer video:

Survey: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bw2WEohshIM8AMB