While nearly all mayors expect drops in their operating budgets in the next 12-18 months due to COVID-19, most mayors also believe investing in infrastructure and technology can spur an economic recovery, according to a survey from the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Siemens USA.
Of the 124 mayors surveyed, 69% said infrastructure is their top investment priority to create jobs and economic growth amid recovery, while 63% said they will prioritize the expansion of virtual and online city services. Meanwhile, 67% of mayors said now is the right time to invest in transit-related projects that will help with longer-term needs.
As they ready their cities for the return of in-office workers, 97% of mayors said there will need to be investments in technology to reimagine and adapt how commercial buildings are used. Ninety-four percent of mayors also called on the federal government to provide emergency fiscal assistance to cities to mitigate budget shortfalls.