Infrastructure and Transportation

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RAND research addresses the challenges of developing, managing, and protecting energy, transportation, water, communications, and other critical infrastructure throughout the world.

  • An inmate walks back to his cell after mopping the floor at the California Institution for Men state prison in Chino, California, June 3, 2011, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Defund Prisons, Not Police

    Aug 9, 2021

    The United States spends billions on prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities. New lows in incarceration rates present a chance to shift resources away from costly correctional facilities and toward education, job training, transportation, and other community services.

  • Construction of the Missouri Place housing project in Los Angeles, California, photo by Steven Sharp/Urbanize LA

    Report

    Effects of Project Labor Agreements on Affordable Housing Production

    Aug 2, 2021

    A project labor agreement requiring that a primarily union workforce be used for housing projects for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles appears to be one reason that the city's $1.2 billion Proposition HHH ballot initiative is falling short of its goal.

Explore Infrastructure and Transportation

  • Crews patch potholes in the Portland Metro area in Portland, Oregon, January 25, 2017, photo by Oregon Department of Transportation

    Commentary

    Progress on Infrastructure, but the Devil May Be in the Details

    Negotiations are underway between the White House and Congress about the scope of investment in infrastructure and how to pay for it. But reaching a compromise on spending may not be enough to ensure that the spending will produce results as intended.

    May 21, 2021

  • Woman walking by a convenience store with signs indicating acceptance of WIC and food stamps in Chelsea, Massachusetts, April 16, 2020, photo by Keiko Hiromi/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Biden Administration's Chance to Improve SNAP and Nutrition Support

    If policymakers were to make permanent the relaxed rules forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could be a start to increased racial equity in SNAP. Given broad public support for SNAP, making benefits easier to access, particularly for those already eligible, could be a bipartisan priority.

    May 19, 2021

  • A driver walks to his car near an empty gas pump in Falls Church, Virginia, May 12, 2021, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    Is DarkSide Really Sorry? Is It Even DarkSide?

    The U.S. military relies heavily on commercial energy assets, making the implications of events like the Colonial Pipeline outage more serious than just higher prices at the gas pump. The origins and severity of an attack dictate what the United States might do in response.

    May 19, 2021

  • Two men ride electric scooters on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., March 20, 2020, photo by Gripas Yuri/ABACA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Micromobility: How Will We Know When It's Working?

    Micromobility was positioned as a solution for every urban problem from traffic congestion to air pollution to transit deserts and inequality. Is there a way to know if micromobility can fulfill these ambitious goals?

    May 18, 2021

  • A man puts his biometric passport on a scanner at an automatic border control point at Zurich-Kloten airport near Zurich, Switzerland, December 1, 2010, photo by Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

    Commentary

    How the EU Can Overcome Barriers to Using AI in Border Security and Beyond

    Artificial intelligence is increasingly a crucial tool for improvement and innovation in public policy and services. While there are opportunities to harness AI as a tool for improving the effectiveness of border-security functions, there are also barriers to its adoption.

    May 17, 2021

  • Clock with navigation marker and satellite orbiting Earth, images by petrovv and janiecbros/Getty Images

    Report

    Weighing the Costs of GPS Disruption and Developing Backup Capabilities

    The Global Positioning System (GPS) has a key role in national positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT), but it is far from the only source of capability for PNT. Would national investment in GPS backup capabilities be warranted, given the potential threats to its functioning?

    May 17, 2021

  • Blog

    Pandemic Education, Working Mothers, Predicting Cyber Threats: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the urban-rural divide in pandemic education, supporting working moms, what makes a good COVID-19 reopening plan, and more.

    May 14, 2021

  • An employee works on final assembly of ventilators at Ventec Life Systems, in Bothell, Washington, March 18, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chains and National Security

    The many pandemic-related shortages that occurred in the United States and elsewhere provide a clear warning. Serious supply-chain vulnerabilities exist. We need to learn much more about this potential threat to national security.

    May 11, 2021

  • Connected dotted lines representing a network, image by liuzishan/Getty Images

    Report

    New Model Helps Predict Cyber Threats and Improve Resilience

    Today's evolving cyber threats require a tailored and targeted approach to cybersecurity. Current defenses focus on managing threats after a network has been breached. RAND's Scalable Warning and Resilience Model (SWARM) can help defenders proactively protect their systems through early warning of cyber incidents before they occur.

    May 11, 2021

  • Massive coils of heavy high tension wire to rebuild the island's electrical distribution system arrive at the lay-down yard in this undated photo in Ponce, Puerto Rico, photo by Jerry Rogers/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    Commentary

    U.S. Military Power Comes from More Than Just the Defense Budget

    With U.S. domestic challenges ranging from the ongoing pandemic to long-delayed infrastructure investments, now is a good time to consider spending that provides both domestic and national security benefits. Infrastructure spending offers one such example.

    May 10, 2021

  • A hearing to examine U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Cyber Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2022 and the Future Years Defense Program, on Capitol Hill, March 25, 2021, photo by Andrew Harnik/Pool/Sipa USA

    Report

    How Does Defense Spending Affect Economic Growth?

    Prioritizing defense spending over infrastructure investment might undermine economic growth. Given that the size and health of the U.S. economy are ultimately the basis for the nation's military power, policymakers should consider that the economic effects of defense spending have consequences for long-term security.

    May 7, 2021

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: May-June 2021

    The cover story highlights the value of invention, analyzing the economic and social impacts of winners of the Lemelson-MIT Prize. A second feature focuses on human rights abuses against ethnic Uyghurs in China and what we know from satellite images.

    May 6, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Clinician Perspectives on Methadone Service Delivery and the Use of Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study

    To explore the impact of the pandemic and accompanying policy changes on service delivery, we asked OTP clinicians about changes in care patterns and perceptions of impacts on access and quality.

    May 5, 2021

  • Aerial photo of the 12-building Department of Veterans Affairs replacement medical center under construction in Aurora, Colorado, photo courtesy of Kiewit Turner

    Commentary

    Infrastructure Investment for Veterans

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides health care to over 9 million veterans through its network of medical facilities. Improved infrastructure could help attract veterans to care, boost provider morale, and ensure high-quality care.

    May 4, 2021

  • Australian soldiers from Battlegroup War Horse take part in the final assault on Williamson Airfield in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Rockhampton, Queensland, during Exercise Hamel, June 27, 2018, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    Defence Mobilisation Planning Comparative Study: An Examination of Overseas Planning

    Against the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, the authors use evidence from several countries to highlight the merits of a 'total defence' approach to mobilisation planning for Australia with the goal of meeting contemporary threats.

    May 3, 2021

  • Blog

    COVID-19 Disinformation, Biden's Address, Leaving Afghanistan: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Russian and Chinese campaigns to spread malign and subversive information on COVID-19, President Biden's address to Congress, the planned U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and more.

    Apr 30, 2021

  • An ethnic Uyghur boy stands at the door of his home as Chinese security forces secure the area in Urumqi, China, July 10, 2009, photo by Nir Elias/Reuters

    Essay

    China's Disappeared Uyghurs: What Satellite Images Reveal

    At least one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have vanished into a sprawling network of camps and prisons in China's far west. Satellite images show brightly lit compounds, wall after wall of barbed wire, and a sudden rush to build what appear to be fortified preschools.

    Apr 29, 2021

  • President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, with Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi behind him, Washington, D.C., April 28, 2021, photo by Melina Mara/Reuters

    Blog

    Biden's First Address to Congress: Insights from RAND

    President Joe Biden addressed a joint session of Congress, summarizing his administration's early COVID-19 response and outlining plans that aim to loosen the pandemic's year-long grip on a weary nation. The speech reflected the fact that the United States faces policy challenges across a wide range of domains.

    Apr 29, 2021

  • An autonomous shuttle in Las Vegas, photo by LPETTET/Getty Images

    Commentary

    If You Build Automated Vehicles, Will Older Adults Come?

    Whether older adults benefit from autonomous vehicles may hinge on taking explicit steps. Lessons can be learned from experiences with other technologies.

    Apr 28, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial of a Text Messaging-Based Intervention for Smoking Cessation Among Young People Experiencing Homelessness

    This is the first study to evaluate the feasibility of using a text messaging-based intervention (TMI) for behavior change with 18–25 year olds experiencing homelessness, and the first to test a TMI to provide ongoing support for smoking cessation.

    Apr 28, 2021