Quality infrastructure is essential for progress: it connects people, enables trade, powers businesses, provides opportunities for communities and stimulates the economy by generating millions of jobs each year. The $3.6 trillion annual global infrastructure market contributes to our quality of life in a plethora of ways – from airports, wind farms and gas lines to broadband networks, railways, buildings and roads, we depend on the industry daily. Read on for ten infrastructure facts from around the world.
1. The oldest building in the world is Göbekli Tepe in TurkeyGöbekli Tepe (Go-Beck-Lee-Te-Peh), circa 9600 BC, is believed to be the oldest human-built structure ever discovered. Officially a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Göbekli Tepe is situated in the South East of Turkey and its name translates roughly to ‘Belly Hill’. The existing remains of the ancient structure include more than 200 pillars in around 20 circles, with each pillar standing about six metres tall and weighing over seven tons. Believed to have once been a temple, the pillars feature carvings of animals and other images.
2. Singapore has the world’s best infrastructureAccording to a worldwide survey conducted in 2019 by the World Economic Forum, Singapore ranks number one in the world for its infrastructure, with an impressive score of 95.4 on a scale of 0 to 100. For comparison, Australia ranked 29th, with a score of 72.9, while the US placed 13th, Canada as 26th, China as 36th and New Zealand as 46th on the list. These infrastructure scores were calculated based on factors such as the quality of roads, railroad density, airport connectivity, efficiency of seaport services, electric power transmission and distribution losses, exposure to unsafe drinking water and reliability of water supply.
3. The longest railway in the world is the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia
Located in Russia, the Trans-Siberian Railway spans a whopping 9,289 kilometres, making it the longest railway line in the world. As the name suggests, the railway crosses the entire width of Russia and is in fact wider than Russia itself, which has a maximum east-west distance of 9,000 kilometres. The line, which runs from the capital Moscow all the way to Vladivstok on the Pacific Ocean, is also one of the busiest railway lines in the world. Construction began in 1891 and was completed eight and a half years later. Despite some of its darker contributions to the history books, such as helping to instigate a war, the Trans-Siberian Railway is recognised as one of the most impressive engineering feats in modern history.
4. Australia’s largest infrastructure investment: 2021-2031At present the Australian government is investing record amounts on new infrastructure projects, feeding a 10 year, $110 billion infrastructure program. An additional $15.2 billion has been allocated to help support more than 30,000 infrastructure jobs across the lifespan of those projects. This builds on the 100,000 jobs already being supported by projects currently under construction through the existing pipeline. This massive investment is aimed at reviving a pandemic-hit economy and is expected to grow Australia’s construction industry by 2.2% in 2021 – countering the 2.1% decline of 2020. On the current trajectory, Australia’s construction industry is forecast to employ 1.28 million people by 2024.
5. The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Since 2010, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa has held the record of tallest building in the world, at a towering 828 metres high. That’s over two and a half times the height of the iconic Eiffel Tower, which previously held the title of world’s tallest building for over 40 years. Not content with just one record, Burj Khalifa actually holds seven world records in total. If you are one of the building’s lucky 30,000 residents, you can enjoy traveling between its record-breaking 163 floors in the world’s fastest – and longest distance – elevator and perhaps even check out the view from the highest observation deck in the world. The weight of the concrete used to build this enormous structure is equivalent to 100,000 elephants, while the total weight of the aluminium used is equal to that of five A380 aircraft.