Basic infrastructure

Infrastructure that provides services considered fundamental for human development, growth, safety, and security.


1. Infrastructure that is seen as fundamental for human development and growth may change over time and geography.

2. See also "Critical infrastructure".

3. Basic infrastructure provides public and private services that meet basic human needs including drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, energy, mobility, waste collection, health care, education, information and communication.

Early provision of basic infrastructure in low-risk areas in Peru

Targeted infrastructure development can be used to prevent unplanned development in developing countries. Many households choose to reside in informal settlements because the formal housing market is beyond their financial capacity. Once such informal settlements reach critical mass, local governments find it very difficult and expensive to relocate or retrofit households to adapt to the risk of natural hazards.

As a planning strategy for greenfield development of the Comás squatter community in Lima, Peru, one of the first actions undertaken to facilitate the project was to provide the most basic infrastructure and services. Ensuring the provision of basic infrastructure in low-risk areas prior to human settlement can guide the population towards areas that are relatively safe from natural hazards. Right-of-way for roads, water supply systems and sewage systems were developed as priorities, in such a manner that designated blocks could be delineated for residential structures to be constructed. Similar approaches have been used with success in sites and services (S&S) projects in India and Tanzania.


Source: Rozenberg, Julie et al. (2019). From A Rocky Road to Smooth Sailing: Building Transport. Resilience to Natural Disasters. Sector note for LIFELINES: The Resilient Infrastructure Opportunity, World Bank, Washington, DC.