26th January 2017

Delivering Healthy Cities

Our passion is to think, create and deliver great places to live and work through the design of high quality buildings, structures and public spaces. These great places, which are often our urban centres, are at the heart of our public and civic life. They present us with the challenge of resolving complex and competing needs and constraints. With these needs in mind, our campaign for 2017, as engineers, is to help shape and lead the agenda for delivering healthy cities.

Healthy cities offer a greater possibility of enhanced lifestyles:

-active travel with less reliance on motorised transport;

-close proximity of facilities with increased levels of social interaction;

-resilient urban environments: water sensitive urban design, high levels of biodiversity;

-reduced air pollution.

It offers cities strengthened competitiveness in attracting, nurturing and developing talent. The reality of achieving this sophistication, however, involves challenging convention and making a commitment to thinking independently and acting responsibly. Civic Engineers demonstrate and aim to deliver that commitment to our clients and collaborators through our work on structural and civil engineering projects every day.

Our broad engineering expertise provides us with the platform to argue for improvements to our green / blue infrastructure network; to reduce vehicular traffic, pollution and noise; to reduce flood risk – managing water as a resource, rather than treating it a problematic constraint to development. Our building designs advocate low carbon solutions through material choice and structural form, and by incorporating green/blue infrastructure into their sub and superstructures.

At a masterplanning level, we plan to support physically active lifestyles. We can achieve this by organising urban areas so that the distance people need to travel is reduced; more places are accessible by public transport and by creating healthy streets where people want to walk and space for cycling is protected.

The buildings and infrastructure that we engineer need to be functionally excellent, and exhibit civility by positively contributing to their setting and geography.

We have many current and completed projects where we have employed these principles. As Engineers we are just one part of the process which makes realising these project outcomes complex. It involves many organisations, both private and public sector, and the need for a long term vision to complement a viable funding and ongoing investment strategy.

We have big ambitions and we believe it is our responsibility, alongside our clients and collaborators, to help shape and change the way our cities are experienced. We must ensure development is delivered so it is financially viable, functional, with high civic quality. Our buildings, structures and public spaces must make a positive contribution to the quality of a place and a real difference to the wellbeing of the people who live and work there both now and in the future.

Over the coming months, through events, opinion pieces and project news, we will be talking more about our focus and passion for delivering healthy cities.

Park Hill, Sheffield