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Chicago mayor promotes new infrastructure thinking

Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 3:18 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will use a keynote address Thursday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to promote the idea of courting private investors to bankroll infrastructure projects in return for a share of the profits.

The mayor's two-year-old Chicago Infrastructure Trust is about to begin its first project, a retrofit of dozens of city-owned buildings to make them more energy efficient. Savings on utility bills will go to pay back the investors.

MIT's Center for Advanced Urbanism is hosting the two-day forum.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Emanuel said the infrastructure trust is one tool for financing public works projects as traditional sources of funding like federal grants and loans become more scarce.

He says maintaining strong infrastructure investment has helped Chicago attract businesses.

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