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Arup on future infrastructure and re-balancing the UK

The head of Arup’s Infrastructure Design Group, Tim Chapman, has been speaking about the power of sustainable infrastructure to change societies for the better, at our recent ‘The Making of the Modern City’ forum at City Hall, London in May.

The forum was opened with a key speech by National Infrastructure Commission's Chief Executive Phil Graham talking about the need for joined up infrastructure and housing.

Tim gave a presentation which ranged from unlocking the regeneration of South Wales to the evolution of transport in London, talking about the differing economies. He also touch on world sustainability.

He cited the huge disparity in carbon use per head in Atlanta and Barcelona, and how running a city on sustainable principles would require the abandoning of the Georgia state capital and rebuilding it elsewhere.

'Barcelona', he said, 'built more densely for a different society, can keep evolving into a greener city without damaging its economy'.

Tim’s most challenging points on future infrastructure were reserved for the London-centric UK. The electrified 46 mile central line in London has been fully in place since 1947 (West Ruislip to Ongar).

'However, the “northern power-house” cities of Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds' he pointed out 'are still only connected by diesel trains, which chug through the Pennines over the same distance as the central line. This is no way to run a modern economy’ he said.

Please watch a section of Tim's presentation above.

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