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NCE Live News Updates Tuesday 3 December: European cities need radical infrastructure changes; is Adelaide Oval one of the best?

European cities face radical changes in infrastructure to cope with the effects of climate change; Gatwick Airport presses case for second runway; Mott MacDonald boasts of Adelaide Oval work.

We’re here to guide you through the day’s civil engineering-related news. Debate time…

11.30am: Mott MacDonald is proudly boasting of its involvement in the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval ahead of tomorrow tonight’s Second Ashes Test

Adelaide Oval

Mott MacDonald provided detail design management and overall project management throughout the development and construction of the AUS$450M (£300M) stadium.

Set in parkland, the Oval claims to be among the most picturesque grounds in the world. The redeveloped stadium features three stands designed as individual pavilions. It houses 50,083 seats, of which 77% will be under cover along with room for 3,500 standing spectators.

The Southern Stand roof is formed by a single shell with a stiffening perimeter truss – a highly efficient structural combination weighing around 57kg/m2. Its shape is a toroid, meaning it’s not perfectly curved, with each connection unique in geometry.  The Southern roof is 147m wide x 65m cantilever and 16m rise; the Eastern roof is 177m wide x 47m cantilever and 5m camber with 35metre span trusses.

So question is - how does it match up with other stadiums around the world - time to dig out NCE’s Top 10 Cricket Stadiums feature…

Four years on, what should make way??

First up today: European cities will require radical changes in infrastructure to cope with the effects of climate change, scientists have warned.

Flood defence scheme: The conference will examine how to make more infrastructure resilient against flooding

Flood defence scheme: The conference will examine how to make more infrastructure resilient against flooding

EU body the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) has concluded that an increase in extreme weather throughout the continent is going to pose major challenges to engineers.

“We have seen an increase in the frequency of intense precipitation and heat waves in Europe,” said Peter Hoppe, head of geo risks research and corporate climate change at insurance firm Munich Re and contributor to EASAC’s weather trends report.

“The data shows it is becoming more necessary to do something about urban heat islands – the phenomenon of cities being warmer than surrounding areas due to the volume of sealed surfaces,” he told NCE yesterday.

Hoppe said urban planners needed to design infrastructure to counter increases in rain and heat.

He added that all civils schemes would have to be designed and built to deal with extreme weather.

“We need to plan rail and road projects to withstand high temperatures,” he said.

Read the full story here.

  • And if you want to find out more about the challenges of dealing with extreme weather there is still time to sign up to tomorrow’s NCE Flood Management conference in London. Here from experts including Environment Agency director of flood and coastal risk management David Rooke and Network Rail professional head Tony Wilcock. More at

And also today, Gatwick Airport celebrates four years as a stand-alone airport, competing head-on with Heathrow, Stansted and other major European airports for airlines and passengers.

In that time Gatwick’s owners - a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners - have invested more than £1bn and the airport is now pushing for a second runway.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s chief executive, said: “Turning round the decades of under-investment in Gatwick, transforming it into a friendly and efficient place to visit, as well as ensuring the airport remains a major international gateway for London and the South East has been my priority over these last four years.

“Looking ahead, and as we enter our fifth year as a competing force in the market, my priorities for the airport won’t change. We will remain focused on delivering high levels of service and affordable prices for our customers, and we will continue to compete for airlines that will help us connect the UK to established and strategic markets.

“That of course means competing for the UK’s next runway. On that issue, I believe that a second runway at Gatwick is the most deliverable option that will give the UK the economic benefits it needs, at a far lower environmental cost and will ensure affordable fares for the next generation.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Charles Slater

    Surely Wingate must be right ! It takes no longer by train to reach London from Gatwick than from Heathrow.
    A new runway at Gatwick does not have the major develoment and environmental problems of a further one at Heathrow.
    In the very long term, a large and expensive new airport east of London may be the right answer but for now let's get going for Britain's future.

    Charles Slater

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