ICE Thinks challenges industry to make cities more inclusive

ICE Thinks has published a discussion paper looking at how industry can make cities more inclusive.

Inclusivity: engineers to design and build for all groups with differing needs
Inclusivity: engineers to design and build for all groups with differing needs

ICE Thinks has published in-depth paper 'What is the city but the people? The role of the engineer in creating inclusive cities’ which 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 last February where experts from across industry, policy, design, academia and the arts examined the role of the engineer in city planning and social sustainability.

ICE President Professor Lord Robert Mair says: “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.”

In the paper ICE issues 3 challenges to industry and academia about how they can help to create more inclusive cities in the future:

  •  ensure greater female representation throughout the sector
  •  commission research on how infrastructure can better support the needs of night workers and the night-time economy
  • engineers to think about design from the point of view of people with differing needs to their own

Download 'What is the city but the people'