Last edited 18 May 2021

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The Institution of Civil Engineers Institute / association Website

The role of the engineer in creating inclusive cities


In April 2018, ICE Thinks published a discussion paper looking at how industry can make cities more inclusive.

The in-depth paper 'What is the city but the people? The role of the engineer in creating inclusive cities’ challenges industry and engineers to think harder about designing and building more inclusive cities.

The discussion paper focuses on issues such as the City at Night, the importance of the night-time economy and night workers; the Feminist City, how men and women use cities differently and how that can be incorporated from an engineering perspective; and the Accessible City, ensuring that people of all levels of mobility and accessibility requirements can use cities without issues.

This follows the Inclusive Cities conference in February 2017 where experts from across industry, policy, design, academia and the arts examined the role of the engineer in city planning and social sustainability.

In the paper, ICE issues three challenges to industry and academia about how they can help to create more inclusive cities in the future:

ICE President Professor Lord Robert Mair said:

“Our citizens have vast and varied lifestyles and it is essential that our cities are able to work for them. Helping people live better, less complicated lives is at the very heart of engineering and we’re challenging the industry to do more to design and build cities that are inclusive for all, at all times, regardless of gender, mental or physical ability.

“As we celebrate ICE 200 it's apt that we not only recognise the important work of the past but consider what engineers can do for the future, helping build more inclusive communities and cities in the next 200 years.”

Dr Ellie Cosgrave, lecturer in urban design at City Leadership Lab UCL, adds:

“We want to lead our industry in debating how cities can be more inclusive. As well as value for money, we should be thinking about the social value of the things we build, and environmental and economic sustainability. Inclusivity is not a buzzword. How we design our cities impacts on people’s lives so we must ensure the infrastructure which our cities depend on is welcoming to all.”

You can download the paper here.

This article was originally published here by ICE on 25 April 2018. It was written by Emma Beer.

--The Institution of Civil Engineers

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