Standardization News

Public Infrastructure Management

A proposed ASTM International guide will help local governments manage their infrastructure systems while supporting transparency to their communities. The new standard (WK53277, Guide for Public Infrastructure Management) is being developed by ASTM International’s committee on environmental assessment, risk management, and corrective action (E50).

“The proposed standard could be used by local elected officials who work with their communities to determine how and what kind of public services and infrastructure are provided, maintained, and upgraded, as well as how they would be budgeted, financed, and procured,” says ASTM International member Marty Rowland, of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

The standard will cover management of public infrastructure in the following categories:

•    Basic survival, including water, food, sanitary sewerage, shelter, and healthcare;
•    Police and fire protection, power communication, roads, bridges, and transit;
•    Education, culture, entertainment, and recreation; and,
•    Sustainable and resilient environment, including air, natural waters, forests, meadows, and wetlands that are kept viable through resource substitution, reuse, recycling, restoration, and renewal. 

According to Rowland, the proposed standard will serve many types of users. This includes: manufacturers, regulators, consumers, labs, ecologists, educators, public service technology contractors, and more. 

Importantly, the standard could also help people and organizations that advocate for transparency and accountability in government. Use of the standard could lead to documentation of infrastructure decisions that could be useful for future reform. 

Rowland says that the subcommittee developing the proposed standard is looking for input from interest groups representing various infrastructure systems. For example, the subcommittee has developed a list of criteria that would justify a failing grade for a particular infrastructure type, but would like additional input into this list.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

ASTM Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action Next Meeting: Oct. 10-12, 2017, October Committee Week, New Orleans, La.
Technical Contact: Marty Rowland, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, tel +1.718.760.6922  
ASTM Staff Contact: Kathleen Chalfin, tel +1.610.832.9717

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