Maximize Your City's Potential Through Asset Investment Planning

3 minutes

The primary responsibility of local government is to provide services that support a good quality of life for citizens and create a thriving community. Public assets are an important part of that picture. The quality of roadways, the upkeep of parks, and even the accessibility of a community center can all greatly impact the character of a town.   

However, in many cities across the U.S., assets built in the 1950s (or earlier) are aging and nearing the end of their useful life and many were not designed for the challenges of today like increasing population growth, climate impacts, and new services. 

Most governments lack sufficient capital to fund overdue maintenance for existing assets and future service needs, and many are also reluctant to increase taxes significantly or allow city services to decline. With too many items needing attention, and projects coming forward in a disconnected and often siloed way, how do towns and cities get a handle on where to invest their limited time and money?   

Why Brightly?

At Brightly, we help governments plan for the city they want by providing a structure to better analyze their needs and available resources through our Asset Investment Planning (AIP) tools. By assimilating all important and useful information into a single “system of record,” communities can easily look at their whole picture to make smarter, more informed decisions around how to allocate their resources. AIP tools also enable you to: 

  • Gain clear answers to difficult questions around where to invest, how much your town can afford, and what the outcomes would be if no investment is made.  
  • Build a picture of asset health and risk across your entire community.  
  • See where resources align best with community priorities.  
  • Directly connect and maximize your operating and capital budgets with your city’s goals.
  • Get a more holistic view and explore investment options through different funding scenarios.

Setting and meeting objectives

Every community has a view on what it wants to be – a walkable city, a family community, historical vs. modern, a tourist-haven, an area full of open and green spaces, etc. It’s important to understand and express that vision so that the actions that your city takes can be viewed in the context of those goals.  A community’s objectives become the guiding light that drives investments.  

If a town’s objectives are unclear, it may find itself in a situation where too many individual and unconnected requests prevent their community from driving forward. With clear objectives acting as a guide, cities can look holistically at the resources they have and evaluate where they need to invest to best meet their goals.     

This is where asset investment planning can help tremendously, by creating an intentional process of evaluating the current state of your community and mapping out a funding plan that best aligns with your stated objectives.

Cross-departmental collaboration

By driving toward AIP, cities can bring together a cross-departmental group to evaluate requests. This leads to collaboration and consideration of additional points of view and a deeper understanding of the need behind requests. With the proper data easily accessible, a complete view of all needs and desires can be evaluated side-by-side looking out multiple years in the future.  

Various funding scenarios can also be reviewed to show different outcomes at various levels of investment. This cross-departmental partnership creates potential for combining multiple projects to save money or accomplish several goals simultaneously.   

When community leaders collaborate across departments on major projects, it provides more transparency into a difficult process, builds trust among employees and constituents, and generally creates more buy-in for projects all across the city. 

Learn more

If you're beginning to realize the possibilities that asset investment planning could create for your community and would like to learn more, we've created an in-depth whitepaper that you can share with your team titled "What is Asset Investment Planning?" The free guide covers how AIP helps you more effectively prioritize asset criticality, maximize asset reliance, improve resource allocation, and more. Download the full white here