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This appendix includes a detailed desription and data source information for this asset class.

Class Definitions
Data Sources Links to Data

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Physical Infrastructure Asset Description

A region’s physical infrastructure is an important condition for supporting regional innovation. Transportation and communications infrastructures in the U.S. are relatively developed, but without the telecommunications networks, roads, and other public utilities in place, regions have little chance of supporting and growing innovative industries. The availability of high-speed Internet access, for example, is a key asset for attracting most modern companies and entrepreneurs. For rural areas, having this link has become a critical factor in their ability to attract workers who wish to telecommute. Transportation factors, such as the average commute time, can also figure prominently in a region’s capacity to attract and retain companies and talent. For some industries, natural resources, particularly access to water, can play a primary role in impacting expansion decisions.

Physical Infrastructure Metrics

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Transportation Infrastructure

The most widely cited source for commuting data is the Texas Transportation Institute’s (TTI) annual Urban Mobility Study ( The report compares commute times for most metro areas in the nation.

Communications Infrastructure

The Progressive Policy Institute maintains an index of states’ achievements in a variety of “new economy” areas. Online population, for example, is a basic measure for assessing the quality of a region’s communications network as well as the connectivity of its residents. Showing a single state’s adoption rate alongside the highest and lowest ranking states, as well as the national average, allows users to see the data in context. The data can be found at Telecommunications providers that offer services in the region may also have useful data, such as user trends, costs, and expansion plans.

Survey questions:

  • The overall quality of the region’s transportation (e.g., roads, air transport, railroads and ports)

  • The quality of the region’s communications infrastructure (e.g., telephone, wireless, high-speed Internet access)

Links to Data: View suggested Financial Capital public sources in the table below. 

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Evaluation Areas Data Source Web site
Highways TTI’s Annual Urban Mobility Study
Highways Arbitron’s Average Travel Time to Work Comparison
Telecommunications Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
Telecommunications Specific regional telecom providers
Airports Federal Aviation Administration
Maritime Regional and State Government
Maritime Port authorities
Rail and Trucking Regional and state government
Rail and Trucking Rail and trucking companies
Residential Housing Local realtors
Residential Housing Online services

The following data sources and evaluation criteria are all related to connective organizations.


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Data Evaluation Criteria
Names and locations of regional airports Current passenger and cargo traffic and projections
Number of carriers Growth plans
Number of flights
Destination cities
Cargo handling capacity


Data Evaluation Criteria
Names and major highways Average commute times
Miles of interstate roads Driving distance to other major metro areas
Number of interstate interchanges

Rail and Trucking

Data Evaluation Criteria
List of regional and interstate passenger service Frequency of service and destination cities
List of regional and interstate cargo service Performance records. (e.g. on time history)
Location of intermodal facilities
Names and contact information for interstate trucking firms with operations in region


Data Evaluation Criteria
Names of port facilities and contact information for officers Tonnage handled at port on annual basis
Names of shipping lines using facility
Nature of cargo handled


Data Evaluation Criteria
Names and contact information for telecommunications providers in region Availability of high-speed Internet access
Names and contact information for telecommunications providers in region Capacity of networks
Names and contact information for telecommunications providers in region Plans for expansion

Natural Resources

Data Evaluation Criteria
Available water supply and infrastructure for delivery Quantification of relevant resources
Available resources to support business clusters and infrastructure for delivery Quantification of relevant resources

Land and Real Property

Data Evaluation Criteria
Available land for building Average purchase price/square foot
Available buildings for occupancy Average rental cost/square foot
Projects online Vacancy rates
Available single family and multi-family dwellings for purchase or rental Vacancy rates/number of dwellings on market and average number of days on market

Range of, and average, housing costs

Industrial/Business Parks

Data Evaluation Criteria
Names, locations, and contact information for management
Special features Average purchase price/square foot
Special features Average rental cost/square foot
Special features Vacancy rates

Mass media channels, such as television, radio, and newspaper

Data Evaluation Criteria
List of mass media channels and contact information Circulation figures/Nielsen ratings/Arbitron ratings
List of mass media channels and contact information Programming/reporting that supports development efforts
List of mass media channels and contact information Involvement in regional initiatives
Department of Labor CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor,
Employment and Training Administration
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