Tim Chapman is a director of Arup and leader of its Infrastructure London Group
It is an exciting time for UK infrastructure – after decades of Cinderella status, investment in it now has cross-party and national consensus as the best way to increase the UK’s lamentable productivity growth and spread that national prosperity across the UK.
The View | Why infrastructure is now a hot topicSubscription
The cross-party consensus around the need for great infrastructure schemes is attracting many other professions too, says Tim Chapman.
I recently attended a breaking technology conference where a keynote speaker uttered the truism: “disruption is disruptive”, which isn’t as useless a statement as it might seem at first glance.
London’s population had shrank to just 6.7M people in 1988, but then the city started growing again. The 2011 London Plan expected it to take a further ten years for the city’s population to reach 8.4M – instead growth accelerated and it took just two years, with that level being reached in mid 2013, and currently increasing by 110,000 people every year.
Most nations now recognise the catastrophic future for mankind unless there are rapid reductions in the amount of carbon that we chuck merrily into the atmosphere. But how countries achieve this is a matter of some debate.
Infrastructure can unite us allSubscription
While we may marvel at the speed and alacrity with which China has expanded its high speed rail network, its progress in road building has been even more impressive. In 2012 and 2013, China opened more than 10,000km of new expressway (motorway) each year and this year already more than a further 8,000km has been opened.
Over the past two decades, London has been transformed by a transport revolution. Great new places have been created and existing centres have been reanimated by a massive expansion and reinvigoration of public transport provision across London.
With the unveiling of Google’s new car and renewed press interest in what autonomous vehicles might mean for society, much has been made of the unease many people have over unleashing computers into such a safety critical environment, where a computer controlled car might kill humans.
NEWSThe profession must educate the construction industry about the consequences of ground risks, says Tim Chapman.