I came across this short video the other day and thought I might share it, as it illustrates some ‘out of the box’ thinking that can help us as we consider infrastructure asset management.
Traditionally, when a problem is presented to be solved in an infrastructure field, we will engineer a solution – often involving the construction of assets.
In this case, the problem presented is ‘people don’t wait at traffic lights for the signal to cross’ and this, of course, causes a range of safety issues in busy city traffic.
So how to solve this problem?
Traditionally we might have considered barriers, mid-intersection islands, the use of enforcement officers, etc.
These are all relatively expensive options, and create assets or the use of resources that are expensive to deploy and maintain.
The video shows a different approach – how do you get people to stop and wait?
It works because of the novelty value – whether this would be the case in the longer term would be interesting to monitor.
This is an example of a non-asset solution being used to solve a real problem.
For infrastructure asset managers the building of assets is typically to resolve a level or service gap, a demand gap or to resolve a risk issue – or a combination of all three.
In considering whether to procure assets or rehabilitate/renew existing assets a key question to ask is ‘Is there a non-asset solution’ to the problem being considered?‘
Don’t be afraid to think ‘outside the box’ when considering non-asset solutions – it is this thinking process that is important, and it will lead to insights, discussions, and more optimal solutions than a standard asset-based solution.