Engineers unite to find solutions to London’s air pollution

Civil Engineers from across the built environment have come together to find solutions to London’s poor air quality, led by the Government’s former Chief Construction Advisor Peter Hansford.

The Taskforce assembled for their first meeting Thursday 25th February.
The Taskforce assembled for their first meeting Thursday 25th February.
The Taskforce will look at various issues surrounding air pollution and infrastructure
The Taskforce will look at various issues surrounding air pollution and infrastructure

The ICE London branch has brought together senior members of the industry to examine what the construction and engineering industry can do to alleviate the issue of pollutants in a fast growing city.

At their first meeting on Thursday (25th February), at ICE's Headquarters at One Great George Street, the group agreed that the construction industry has a key role in determining how London reduces the amount of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in the air, and is committed to developing robust, actionable recommendations for the industry, government and next Mayor.

The key areas the Taskforce will look at are: transport; innovation and smart technologies; planning policy; industry practices and blue, green and energy infrastructure.

The Taskforce will meet quarterly for an 18 month period to assess the evidence and propose solutions surrounding air quality in London and will produce an interim report in January 2017 followed by a final report in September.

Peter Hansford, Chair of the London Air Quality Taskforce said:

The group brings together civil engineers with environmental campaigners and air quality specialists
The group brings together civil engineers with environmental campaigners and air quality specialists

"Finding a solution to poor air quality in London should be a major priority for the construction industry. Figures by Kings College London show that 52,000 life-years were lost due to anthropogenic PM2.5 in London. Nationally, air pollution cost the economy an estimated £15 billion a year.

"With engineers building and maintaining our infrastructure, it is vital that we acknowledge this issue and provide solutions for it – whether that's by changing industry practices at construction sites, looking at making better use of the river and green spaces, proposing new projects or through smart technologies.

"We have a great team in the Taskforce, with academics, transport experts, industry leaders and environmental campaigners working together to assess what the industry and national and London government must do. We will examine the evidence with the aim of producing an interim report in the New Year, followed by a final report in September 2017."

Members of the Taskforce:

  • Chair: Peter Hansford, Former ICE President and Chief Construction Advisor
  • Simon Birkett, Founder and Director, Clean Air in London
  • James Bulleid, Group Work Winning Director, Costain
  • Tony Caccavone, Programme Director, Heathrow
  • Nigel Earnshaw, Asset Management Director, Black & Veatch
  • Ralph Goldney, Managing Director, Railfrieght Consulting
  • Paul Gregory, Project Director, Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Prashant Kumar, Reader, University of Surrey
  • Francesca Medda, Director of Transport & Infrastructure Studies, UCL
  • Suzanne Moroney, London Director, ICE
  • Heleni Pantelidou, Associate Geotechnical Engineer, Arup
  • Ken Simmonds, Divisional Director, Regional Investment Programme, Highways England
  • Jean Venables, Director, Venables Consultancy
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