ICE’s thought leadership programme ICE Thinks last month hosted a discussion about the role of engineers in creating inclusive cities.
It brought together engineers, designers, artists, choreographers, government officials, academics and charities.
“What is the city but the people? The role of the engineer in creating inclusive cities” was a day of panel discussions and practical workshops, bringing engineers face to face with their customers. Delegates were asked to consider whether policymakers and the infrastructure sector had overlooked social sustainability by focusing too heavily on the environment and economics with resulting social exclusion because of age, race, class, gender and ability.
UCL City Leadership Lab deputy director Ellie Cosgrave chaired the Feminist City panel session. She asked engineers to consider the social impact of civil engineering design decisions. The panel discussed the need for greater awareness among engineers of the impact of their work on people’s day-to-day life.
London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Night Czar Amy Lamé hosted a panel discussion on the “The City at Night”, looking at the way we can engineer our cities to meet the different challenges of the night time economy. Issues debated included commuting difficulties faced by night workers; barriers to disabled people participating in London’s nightlife and night time safety.
Workshops also took place in parallel, examining the experience of people who are disabled, blind or partially sighted, with speakers including Vicki Austin from the Disability Innovation Hub and Jenny Cook from Guide Dogs.
Illustrator Chris Ship captured a visual summary of the sessions and attendees were encouraged to write their thoughts on an interactive board.