New initiative to highlight key role of infrastructure for cities

The refurbishment of Manchester Piccadilly Station has played an important role in better connecting the city.

A new initiative, based on industry research and opinion, is set to help raise the profile and importance of economic and social infrastructure in the future of the UK.

Infrastructure Intelligence is collaborating with WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff on a new initiative aimed at identifying infrastructure priorities to allow cities to be competitive in the new global landscape, following the EU referendum.

Through an industry leaders’ survey, a series of roundtable events and the publication of a white paper in the New Year, the Cities and Infrastructure initiative will focus on raising the profile and importance of economic and social infrastructure in the future of the UK.

Peter Sharratt, head of strategic consulting at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, said: “A lot of the current discussion on infrastructure gets couched in uncertainty over the Brexit decision but irrespective of the decision to leave the EU there is a need to develop infrastructure; we are on this journey anyway and we want to help influence positive outcomes. Working with the industry, we want to raise the profile of infrastructure development with politicians and decision makers so the right decisions are made.”

The results of the leaders’ survey conducted as part of the initiative are currently being collated and a series of roundtables from now until the end of the year will discuss the headline findings and start to map out a way forward. One key area already identified is the public’s attitude to infrastructure development and the link between infrastructure and creating economic prosperity.

Head of development at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Ian Liddell, said: “It’s clear that we need to do more so that the public understands the connection between infrastructure spending and economic growth. That’s the direct benefits in terms of employment of jobs in infrastructure and also the indirect benefits like improved competitiveness, greater connectivity and the long-term boost that this gives to the economy.”

Infrastructure Intelligence will report on the outcomes of the industry survey, the roundtables and the launch of the white paper early in 2017. 

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