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British Business Embassy days - Infrastructure summit

The Infrastructure Summit held 8 August 2012 centred around Sustainable Cities and drew lessons from the London Olympic Park and its regeneration of Stratford.

Speakers included Rt. Hon. Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, Her Majesty's Government's Senior Advisor on Sustainability and the Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority; along with senior leaders from companies including Arup, MAKE Architects, Atkins and Laing O’Rourke.

It was noted that there is no “model city” – each has its different needs, ideas and nature of Government involvement. However, there are lessons that can be shared, including from London Olympic Park and its regeneration of Stratford (East London) – which was forecast to see “London” move eastwards. Manchester’s Salford Keys and regeneration for Commonwealth Games also showcases the UK’s extraordinary infrastructure expertise. It was also noted that low carbon is now part of infrastructure sector in UK and construction is much more efficient today.

London’s Olympic Park was the largest construction project in Europe, involving more than 1,600 construction firms and some of the best architects, and taking two years of planning and four years of construction.

Speakers expressed the success factors in various ways, including:

  • A focus on social and economic regeneration as part of park planning;
  • Three Ls: Leading, listening and liaising. Keep locals involved in the planning process and ensure they benefit long term – including through local employment, education and community facilities;
  • Workforce – local, safe & engaged. In London, there were 12,000 workers at peak and 25% came from local neighbourhoods. Safe = productive. Engaged = efficient;
  • Six key factors: health and safety, client leadership, design quality, sustainability, procurement and integration;
  • The inclusion of art raised London’s Olympic Park above “bricks and mortar”;
  • Innovation and collaboration;
  • Constructors should, ideally, be involved early in design stage.

There will be increasing demand around the world for the development of Greenfield sites. Speakers stressed that the UK is ready to work with other countries, to share its skills and experience in delivering major projects, including the Olympic Park experience of land remediation (cleaning polluted soil).

UK contractors and consultants operate within leading consortia in almost every country in the world, providing the necessary design, project management and quality expertise to deliver major projects. They have developed particular capabilities in urban regeneration, as a result of the recent transformation of cities such as London, Manchester and Newcastle.


Airports: Introduction


Keynote: Virgin Atlantic Airlines


London 2012 - The Challenge For Aviation


Sustainable Aviation and Socio-Economic Development


Rail - Introduction


Olympics - Rail


Successfully Delivering Rail Projects in Partnership


Sustainable Rail Solutions