Infrastructure with an ecological and environmental conscience

  • A recent interview with MIT’s Dean Adéle Naudé Santos regarding the future of urbanisation indicates that the growing need for urbanisation relative to population growth and social mobility, is a direct contradiction to the need to protect our natural environment and counteract climate change.
  • Future urban and infrastructure developments have to consider the importance of ecological agendas at both governmental and societal level, as improvements in living standards may lead to heightened expectations for local natural environments.
  • It is not just the design, location and scale of developments that is detrimental to the natural environment but also the materials used to build our largely taken for granted infrastructure. The European Commission released a recent report outlining a range of studies that highlight the importance of switching to materials that provide an impact reduction across the supply chain through reduced energy consumption, CO2 emissions, water demand and reduced material need.

Construction accounts for 24% of global raw material demand compounded by processing, transportation, installation and waste due to end of life unrecyclable materials that increase the demands placed on our environment. This industry should be encouraged to consider the environment through the materials used and the life cycle of these inputs.

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