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Quality streets


Last week you reported Mark Whitby calling for improvement in the quality of movement in our towns and cities. In the same issue the State of the Nation survey showed that the three major problems are infrastructure, infrastructure and infrastructure.

Last week the strategic framework plan for New Islington Millennium Village was launched in Manchester.

The adventurous plan is being led by engineers and involves a major new public realm with the emphasis on pedestrian, cycle and public transport as well as accommodating vehicles in a civilised way.

It includes new canals, a borehole to provide water locally, on-site treatment of sewage, a CHP plant run by the developer and the location and routing of pipes and cables in a way that allows them to be maintained without major disruption to everyday life.

The single most important area of work in the UK for civil engineers over the coming two decades will be to reshape our towns and cities. The time for widespread surgery is over.

We must focus on managing the challenges of 21st century life.

We have to tackle these challenges by providing high quality engineering and infrastructure. Engineers must lead this and embrace the opportunity to use our unique skills to raise the quality of the public realm.

Martin Stockley (F), managing director, Martin Stockley Associates, Manchester M15 4RQ

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