There should be no limit to our ambition for infrastructure

Sadie Morgan

Sadie Morgan invites BD readers to work with the National Infrastructure Commission to ensure design is a key part of major projects from the start

Most of us appreciate the value of good design when it comes to our homes, cars or latest mobile phone. Yet, in the context of our infrastructure – something just as critical to the smooth running of our lives – design is often the last thing considered. Whether it’s a train station with hard-to-find exits and poor access for those with disabilities, or housing developments only accessible by car, badly designed infrastructure has an impact on the quality of people’s lives.

That’s why the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is establishing a design group to help embed design into the DNA of our built environment and ensure infrastructure connects on a human scale.

London’s new super sewer, the Thames Tideway Tunnel, is just one example of how design can make a difference. Built by Joseph Bazalgette and opened in 1865, the original network was intended to accommodate a population of almost half today’s eight million. Sewage systems are rarely regarded as symbols of great design, but this one is set to change that. The work that’s happening underground is only half the story, with much thought being given to improving the places nearby for local communities.

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