10th January 2024

The cost of doing nothing: tackling ageing infrastructure more imaginatively


When it comes to urban infrastructure in the UK, the status quo is often thought to be a constant. Change is costly, and many stakeholders will ask why things can’t just stay as they are.

So how can we tackle ageing UK infrastructure more imaginatively and recognise the wider transformative benefits of systems thinking? Our director Leah Stuart has shared insights in an article first published by Property Week.

Drawing on the examples of the Better Queensway regeneration project in Southend and Mayfield Park, Manchester’s first city centre park in more than 100 years and a prime example of doing things differently, Leah’s article outlines:

  • The wider cost associated with doing nothing, and how continuing to allow cars to dominate our towns and cities causes air pollution, ill health and can exacerbate issues of social isolation and anti-social behaviour.
  • The ways ageing infrastructure can be dealt with more imaginatively, and how the first step is to recognise the wider transformative benefits that adopting systems thinking can deliver and put this at the centre of the planning and delivery of large-scale projects.
  • The social, environmental and economic benefits of adopting ‘bigger-picture’ thinking when it comes to regeneration across the UK.
  • Barriers such as the siloed approach to investment, and how ushering in more flexible, innovative funding models will be key in accelerating progress to meet net zero targets in the built environment.
  • The limited legislative progress in responding to the climate crisis, and how it is vital to explore more creative ways to re-envisage what has gone before, and put people and the environment at the heart of regeneration.

Read Leah’s article in full in Property Week.

The cost of doing nothing: tackling ageing infrastructure more imaginatively