A department of planning and infrastructure is a department within a government or business entity responsible for developing components that contribute to the health of a society or population and the strength of an economy. The writing of policies, analysis of budget, and the consideration of functions such as transportation and sanitation are often the concerns of this kind of department. Officials who serve there may either be elected or appointed and may work with or without pay for their duties. Departments that deal with these issues have various names established by their founders; not all refer directly to planning and infrastructure, although "Department of Planning and Infrastructure" is the proper name of the sector of the Australian federal government that deals with them.
Town, urban, or city planning are common functions of a regional department of planning and infrastructure. These activities entail decision making regarding land usage. Issues such as the rebuilding and development of neighborhoods and districts are often managed by this kind of department. Transportation is also considered to be part of planning, and decisions and policies made by the department may direct what kind of budget transportation departments receive, where roads are built, and which methods of public transportation, such as buses, trains, and subways, are funded.
The economic health of a region is often partly determined by the actions taken by this department. While other factors, such as local industry and the wealth of consumers, also play a part in a region's prosperity, it is a department of planning and infrastructure that may be responsible for factors such as the state of roads and highways. These factors are instrumental in the transportation of goods and services, meaning that the health of a local economy is in part due to the policies and budgetary restrictions that are placed on this component of infrastructure.
Public health is also a common concern of the department. Functions such as trash pickup, sewers, water supply, and waste disposal are often the subjects of debate and policy making of this department. Policies may be drafted that dictate where potentially harmful industrial plants or other manufacturing centers may be built in order to reduce dangerous pollution and contamination. Likewise, budgets are created that should, if effective, ensure that waste is safely disposed and that sewers are functional.
The overall quality of life of citizens of a town, city, region, or country also may be determined by this department. Factors such as health and economic prosperity are often primary qualifiers when determining quality of life. A department of planning and infrastructure also may be responsible for the planning of power grids and communications, such as phone lines and access to Internet, television, and radio.