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Community engagement the focus of latest ICE Strategy Session

27 October 2020

Despite it being said that people and the community are at the heart of what the profession does, the next ICE Strategy Session will question to what extent they are truly engaged in the process. 

Community engagement the focus of latest ICE Strategy Session

The latest ICE Strategy Session, The Value of Community Engagement on Infrastructure Projects, will take place on 10 November 2020 and addresses how civil engineers can better engage with the public and why engagement is crucial to achieving positive outcomes for communities.

With civil engineers making essential contributions to society by designing and shaping the natural and built environment, this session brings together a range of experts to explore how they can better achieve this objective. It also examines why, as an industry, civil engineers must get better at truly engaging the community in the design process, and throughout the life-cycle of our infrastructure assets.

Engineers have historically encountered criticism for designing infrastructure without successfully engaging the community. Whereas the follow-on effect of active participation is increased trust in organisations and governance to make better public decisions.

But when it comes to community engagement, what is good practice? What are civil engineers doing or not doing well? How could they be doing better?

Helping answer those questions will be ICE Vice President, Anusha Shah, who will open the debate by discussing the changing needs of the community and how the profession needs to adapt to meet its needs and involve them in the process.

This will be followed by Peter Trimingham, providing his experiences as a volunteer flood warden of the 2019 Fishlake floods. Peter will discuss the flood’s initial and ongoing impact on the community, and how it can often take a disaster to trigger a response to public concerns.

Former ICE President’s Future Leader, Monika Szczyrba, will then discuss her research into sustainable infrastructure development, and why engagement with the community is so important.

Finally, Professor Sarah Bell, University College London, will close the line-up by providing an overview of good practice principles for public engagement. The session will be chaired by ICE’s Director of Engineering Knowledge, Mark Hansford.

Sign up for The value of community engagement on infrastructure projects.

Be sure to join incoming ICE President Rachel Skinner's inaugural address on 3 November where she will be discussing the importance of carbon emission reduction and the need for urgent actions.Book the event here.

  • Adam Kirkup, engineering communities manager at ICE