Getting the infrastructure we need: what are government and industry doing to drive change?

Modern societies depend on infrastructure to sustain their quality of life and business competitiveness. Our advanced economy increasingly relies on connectivity to be productive – bringing people together physically and virtually to innovate and trade. Investors need confidence that our infrastructure systems are reliable and affordable.

  • Updated: 29 January, 2018
  • Author: Hannah Vickers, Head of Policy and External Affairs, ICE

Understanding user outcomes and needs expected from the infrastructure system are the first steps to ensuring the UK has the infrastructure system it requires. Over the past 18 months there have been a wide range of government and industry initiatives that aim to:

  • Set out ‘the what’
  • Commit to improve how we deliver infrastructure
  • Outline how to implement these improvements

ICE has reviewed and interpreted the plethora of publications and announcements out there in order to help ICE members and the wider infrastructure community better understand how all of this fits together.

This is summarised in our new animation and three short papers, ‘What is required for UK infrastructure’, ‘Vision for improvement’ and ‘Driving the change needed’. We hope that these products can be used to support and shape the work of engineers and built environment professionals.

What is required for UK infrastructure?

The ICE’s National Needs Assessment, the NIC’s National Infrastructure Assessment and the Government’s National infrastructure and construction pipeline all provide elements of setting out what is required – identifying future needs and challenges, such as trends and future needs up to 2050.

Vision for improvement

To implement any change programme a clear vision for improvement and commitment from leaders is required. The Autumn Budget, Industrial Strategy and Construction Sector Deal all commit to change and improving productivity in how we deliver infrastructure.

Driving the change needed

Finally, the Infrastructure Client Group’s Project 13, the Government’s Transforming Infrastructure Performance and DfT’s Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy identify how best to implement change across sectors into departments, Government delivery organisations and the supply chain.

We pose a number of key questions to engineers and built environment professionals that we’re keen to get your views on – including:

  • What does the strategic direction outlined in the National Infrastructure Assessment mean for your role, now and in the future?
  • If you were to account for the rebalancing of the economy in your work, what would that look like?
  • Where are the best models for collaborative delivery in your experience? What made them successful?

ICE will continue to monitor and interpret these initiatives – we’re keen to get your feedback so to help us shape this important work, contact us at policy@ice.org.uk

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