The planning, design and construction of sustainable infrastructure is of vital importance in developed and developing countries and in rural and urban areas, as it supports and connects our communities.
Arup understands this, which is why the firm has carried out work of this nature around the world for the last four decades. The firm recognises its privileged position of gathering and integrating knowledge and experience from around the world to help to create better and more responsible infrastructure.
In both developed and developing nations around the world, a lack of, or compromised access to, clean water, sanitation, energy and transportation severely compromises well-being and the economy. Basic infrastructure is therefore not a luxury that can wait for better economic times, but a precondition for supporting and creating them. The provision of appropriate infrastructure is an urgent and ongoing global requirement.
It is not simply the short-term provision of infrastructure that is of prime importance, but planning and designing infrastructure which takes full account of its own impact and its operational needs and use. Infrastructure must be sustainable if it is to benefit coming generations and make a positive contribution to the future. Providing such infrastructure now is an investment that will pay off many times over. Arup wants to be a part of this, both now and in the future.
Sustainable infrastructure design is not just about new infrastructure. It is about rehabilitation, reuse or optimisation of existing infrastructure, which is consistent with the principles of urban sustainability and global sustainable development. This encompasses infrastructure renewal, long-term economic analysis of infrastructure, energy use and reduced infrastructure costs, the protection of existing infrastructure from environmental degradation, material selection for sustainability, quality, durability and energy conservation, minimising waste and materials, the redesign of infrastructure in light of global climate change and the remediation of environmentally damaged soils and water. Clearly sustainable infrastructure should lead to improve socio-economics. Responsible design needs to balance social, economic and environmental issues.
The aim is to set a responsible standard of sustainable design in both the short and the long term. We all have a significant impact on the world around us and each of us should play a part in protecting future generations. Engineers and planners have a big responsibility to set standards of design that benefit the environment and the people who live in it. Arup's aspiration is that ultimately, talking about sustainability will become superfluous, because it will be the expected norm of a good design.