Future lab— Global


Global leaders may be lacking in ambition but that hasn’t stopped us doing the heavy lifting for them. Monocle presents 10 grand projects that would make a big difference.

Diplomacy, High-speed rail, Ports, Shipping, Solar panels, Transport

Once, there were leaders with grand ambitions. They built railways and motorways, constructed sewers and waterworks, assembled electricity grids and laid telephone cables. They built bridges over bays and dug tunnels under seas. They chose to go to the moon. They did these things “not because they are easy but because they are hard.” And because they made economic sense (less sexy, I accept).

Never has there been a better time to invest in infrastructure than during an economic downturn. It provides jobs immediately and boosts the general economy…

  1. Vancouver to San Francisco
    California’s plan for a line from Los Angeles to San Francisco is long overdue (and will probably be long delayed), but why stop there? The entire western seaboard could be linked, all the way up through Seattle and into Vancouver.

  2. Barcelona-Marseille-Nice-Genoa-Milan
    Europe-wide stimulus package, anyone? Spain and Italy, two of Europe’s frailest economies, plus France (a not-quite-out-of-the-woods-behemoth) would certainly benefit from a new high-speed link across the northern Mediterranean coast.

  3. London to Newquay
    While the UK government is very slowly finalising plans for a high-speed link between the capital and a host of northern cities, it’s worth thinking of building a faster connection to the often ignored South West too. So long as it doesn’t take two decades to build.

  4. Chicago-Detroit-Toronto-Montréal
    Another US/Canada connection, this time heading west to east through the Great Lakes region from Chicago, through Detroit and Toronto, and ending in Montréal.

  5. Canberra-Sydney-Melbourne
    There’s nothing terribly wrong with Australia’s capital (though it can be a little dull) but the transport links between Canberra and the country’s two biggest cities are in need of a lift. It would also mean government officials could commute from somewhere more exciting.


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