What is the city but the people? Engineering inclusivity debate

ICE Thinks has produced an in-depth discussion paper around the role of the engineer in creating inclusive cities. The paper challenges engineers to do more to take into account the diverse needs of specific groups.

  • Updated: 25 April 2018
  • Author: Joanna Gonet, Lead Public Affairs Manager

In February ICE hosted 150 delegates - engineers, designers, academics, policy makers and third sector representatives - at an all day conference on inclusive cities.

The question of whether it is people who make a city, or a city which shapes its people, is as old as Rome itself. It is famously referred to in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus where the cry from the citizens of Rome is that the people are the city.

You can download the the subsequent 'What is the city but the people?' discussion paper below. It explains in greater detail the important issues that were discussed, including:

3 inclusivity challenges

  1. ICE challenges infrastructure and civil engineering industry leaders to ensure greater female representation throughout the sector
  2. ICE calls on academia to commission research on how infrastructure can better support the needs of night workers and the night-time economy
  3. ICE implores engineers to think about design from the perspective of people with differing needs to their own

3 inclusivity themes

Feminist cities

Understanding how men and women use cities differently and specifically how women can be better included in design and planning can help to create spaces that are more inclusive.

City at night

From better transport options to increased lighting after hours, there is much more that can be done to improve the working lives of those who keep the wheels turning while we're asleep.


Inclusive design is not just about taking into account disability, it's about putting safety and ease of use for all people first.

Download 'What is the city but the people'

Continuing the discussion

ICE Thinks will continue to debate inclusivity throughout 2018 - including an APPG Infrastructure panel discussion, The Feminist City, in June.

Further information from [email protected]