Both ICE and the ICG are calling for views and opinions from across the industry as to how Covid-19 will impact infrastructure and what can be learned for future requirements and delivery
Industry professionals are being encouraged to share their views on how Covid-19 will impact the ‘new normal’ for infrastructure and society.
Views are sought as part of a consultation launched today by ICE, on behalf of the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG). The Green Paper consultation is the first significant milestone in a wider research programme the Institution is undertaking, looking at the ‘new normal’ for infrastructure systems.
This first phase is aimed at the Construction Leadership Council's Industry Recovery Plan and includes a range of questions around the impact of the pandemic on the future of infrastructure delivery in the UK.
Responses to the consultation will help the ICG to develop a roadmap, as part of the broader Industry recovery plan, on how infrastructure delivery should be reinvented in the UK following Covid-19 and the role infrastructure clients will need to play in that reinvention.
ICE President, Paul Sheffield, who is leading the project’s Steering Group, said: “Society has undergone a series of major changes in how it operates as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of which will continue long after restrictions are eased and lockdown has been lifted.
“As an industry, it’s important we listen to the public and understand how infrastructure can help aid the recovery process and deal with systemic problems that pre-date the pandemic. It’s also key for infrastructure professionals to be clear about what role we can play over the coming months and years, which is why we urge our membership, industry professionals and other stakeholders to make their voices heard in our consultation process over the coming weeks.”
Among the assumptions already put forward within the consultation are that continued remote working could necessitate an accelerated delivery of digital infrastructure and the potential re-purposing of obsolete inner-city office space as housing.
A greater number of spaces designed for safe walking and cycling within cities was also earmarked - to maintain social distancing and dis-incentivize the use of cars - alongside a possible realignment of major transport programmes based on changes in demand and priorities.
These assumptions are underpinned by interviews, surveys and analysis ICE conducted over recent weeks. This underlying evidence base will also be published over the course of the Green Paper consultation period.
The consultation responses will be used to assess the systemic lessons that have arisen as a result of Covid-19, as well as lessons learnt on infrastructure requirements and delivery. Industry insight and evidence will also help inform a future White Paper and future policy programmes.
Contributions or questions about the consultation can be sent to: [email protected]