ICE London’s involvement with the 2012 Open House London weekend, proved a huge success with the launch and celebration of Open House’s 20th anniversary taking place at ICE’s headquarters at One Great George Street.
There were over 250,000 participants with 13,500 applications for the 1,200 places on ICE’s pre-booked events. All events were fully booked within 24 hours and a balloting system was introduced by Open House due to the high demand.
The 31 ICE hosted events and projects which showcased the vital role of civil engineering in London and captured the imagination of Londoners, were spread across 15 London boroughs with tours of water, waste, transport and energy infrastructure and buildings.
Highlights included a five-hour long Thames Clipper tour from Greenwich to The Hoo Peninsula – the proposed site for a Thames Estuary Hub Airport - with more than 100 guests braving the waves and rain to learn about flood risk, water and waste management solutions. Commentary was led by Rt Hon Nick Raynsford, MP for Greenwich and Woolwich who is also Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Infrastructure and a Trustee of Open-City.
Guests were also given the opportunity to ride on the Emirates Air Line cable car with Matthew Randall EAL project director from MACE and Darryl Newport, ICE London Waste Panel Member, who gave insights into its design and construction and the regeneration of the area.
A walk from Erith to Slade Green exploring the changing face of the Tidal Thames in partnership with Thames Estuary Partnership also proved popular along with Central London boat tours led by Ed McCann and Chris Wise from Expedition Engineering, Phil Stride, Head of the Thames Tideway Tunnel at Thames Water and David Woodhead, Offshore Development Engineer RES Offshore. There were also tours of ICE London’s Civil Engineering Award winning projects including the Lee Tunnel and Thames Barrier, canal tours along the Lee Navigation with the London Legacy Development Corporation, Crossrail's Canary Wharf station, Dagenham’s Closed Loop Recycling Plant and Abbey Mills Pumping Station.
The ICE events even attracted the attention of BBC London listeners, who were offered exclusive tickets by ICE President Richard Coackley and ICE London Director Miranda Housden when interviewed on the Robert Elms show.
Commenting on the weekend, Coackley said that he was delighted ICE was involved in Open House London. “The weekend provided a superb opportunity for the general public to find out how our cities tick and to showcase the often hidden engineering and infrastructure that Londoners depend on.
“Whether it is the civil engineering behind our transport, food, water, waste, health or communications systems, or the engineering that delivered the fantastic London 2012 Olympic venues and infrastructure, there were visits to cover all interests and excite enquiring minds. I think we should do this in all our cities.”
Open House London 2013 is on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September. If you have any suggestions of civil engineering projects which should be open or wish to volunteer to help the ICE London team, email email@example.com.
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