What will the ‘new normal’ be for society in the aftermath of Covid-19 and what role will infrastructure play in that landscape as well as its long-term recovery?
Those are two of the primary questions ICE, on behalf of the Infrastructure Client Group, are seeking to answer over the coming weeks as part of its latest research project.
Covid-19 and the New Normal for Infrastructure Systems will provide a crucial information resource for government and industry stakeholders during a time when they may be unable to do so as they are rightly focused on reducing the spread of Covid-19 and mitigating the impact of measures such as social distancing.
Following a consultative Green Paper stage, a White Paper will be produced, which will make a series of recommendations for future requirements and delivery processes, based on expertise fed in through the consultation process.
Insights Paper Reveals Public Attitudes Towards Infrastructure – 21 May
The first of three Covid-19 Insights Papers was launched today, highlighting changing public attitudes around infrastructure amid the pandemic and exploring what ramifications those changing views could have.
The Use of Infrastructure Systems – Insights into the New Normal features polling around topics including public transport and remote working, with the resulting questions raised about future infrastructure requirements and projects featured within the recently released Green Paper.
- 44% of the British public are likely to avoid public transport when life returns to the ‘new normal’.
- 48% would want social distancing measures to remain in place, were they to continue using public transport.
- 61% of British adults expect employers to increase the frequency of remote working. (YouGov)
Get more information on the report via the latest infrastructure blog from Ben Goodwin, Lead Policy Manager. The consultative Green Paper remains open for responses and input until 14 June.
Green Paper Consultation Now Live - 15 May
The Green Paper consultation stage is now open, with Industry professionals encouraged to share their views on how Covid-19 could shape the new normal for infrastructure and society.
Within the consultation are a range of questions around the impact of the pandemic on the future of infrastructure delivery in the UK, with the first significant milestone of the research programme aimed at the Construction Leadership Council's Industry Recovery Plan.
Responses to this will help the ICG develop a roadmap, as part of the broader Industry Recovery Plan, on how infrastructure delivery should be reinvented in the UK and the role infrastructure clients will need to play in that reinvention.
The Green Paper is available to download here while contributions to the project can be made via [email protected]. ICE Director of Policy, Chris Richards, has also summarised the consultation phase in his latest Infrastructure Blog.
Introducing the Programme: Key Details - 04 May
Led by a steering group chaired by ICE President, Paul Sheffield, the project will amalgamate views and insights from across the membership, infrastructure professionals and policy experts as to how Covid-19 has already impacted society and infrastructure and what the implications of that will be if those impacts remain unaddressed over the coming months and years.
With various socio-economic issues previously raised in ICE’s National Needs Assessment of 2016, the research is also looking to demonstrate the critical role for infrastructure in building a more sustainable Britain in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, while providing government and industry decision-makers with a valuable knowledge resource for future planning.
"Everybody wants to know what the new normal looks like and with most of us now adept at video communication on a variety of platforms and attending virtual conferences and debates, that could act as a catalyst for a huge change in societal habits," said Sheffield.
"For instance, it could be a real benefit for those who are not comfortable with going into a traditional office place to be able to create the space for more home working whilst truly delivering great value to their business. Then, if everyone worked from home one day per week, that just might take 20% off the roads and rail links that we use for our commute - not to mention the 20% reduction in the desk space that we might need in the expensive offices that we occupy."