Bold Bison_PRE-Collective

What is


Predevelopment is that early, messy space where infrastructure gaps, needs, priorities, and potential solutions are framed. In the past, this has been a field dominated by technical experts and planners.

To realize a better future, it needs to be a space defined by communities and the intended beneficiaries of our public systems and services.

Pre Development beach with people

Translating needs and ideas

into projects

The three main building blocks of predevelopment are vision, capacity, and funding. It is easy to recognize when one or more of these bricks are missing.




Vision and capacity, but no money? Pretty drawings

Capacity and funding, but no vision for transformation? Business as usual

Funding and vision, but low capacity? Slow and uneven implementation

We firmly believe that a shared vision emerges from asking effective questions, listening deeply, and co-creating ideas for impact. Carrying that vision forward requires capacity, having people and skills in the right combinations, and intentionally building diverse and durable coalitions for action. Funding is all about aligning resources for implementation.

People at the Round Table Conference
Pre Collective Brainstorming Session

Building the field of


As we work to develop the field of predevelopment, we’ve gathered some resources to share. Read and listen to learn about how your project or organization could benefit from strategically aligning your vision with the necessary capacity and funding for implementation. 

  • Community Adaptation Learning Exchange Webinar: Aligning Public and Private Funding for Climate-Smart Infrastructure> watch

  • America Adapts Podcast: Transformational Adaptation and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act> listen
  • Cause and Purpose Podcast: Building a Resilient Future for All: Infrastructure Predevelopment with Shalini Vajjhala> listen

  • Around the halls: Brookings scholars discuss the White House’s new National Climate Resilience Framework> read 
  • IISD Report: Mobilizing Capital for Natural Infrastructure in Canada> read 

  • Brookings Commentary: Transformative infrastructure funding is here. The application process for getting it still needs work.> read