Engineers say COVID recovery must enhance resilience

The UK Government has been urged to use the opportunity of its Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) to drive greater resilience across the country and deliver on its Net Zero plans.

The Association of Consulting Engineers (ACE) has shared details of its Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) submission in which it argues that the Government should use the opportunity of the CSR to empower local authorities and LEPs to lead the redesign of the built environment, and in doing so embed post-COVID resilience within communities.

The Association’s CEO, Hannah Vickers, (pic) said: “This year has brought into sharp relief the need for a more flexible and resilient society and the CSR is a great opportunity to embed this thinking across Government. We have put forward practical ideas to build resilience – whether helping communities adapt to changing post-COVID needs, meeting the climate challenges of Net Zero through tangible proposals, or helping the built environment play its part in wider economic recovery.”

In its report, ACE highlighted the need for local authorities and LEPs to be given a bolstered role as leaders of regeneration efforts through the use of imaginative planning and design reforms which encourage flexible, multi-use local infrastructure as well as housing. It also suggested progress on a number of transport schemes including, Northern Powerhouse Rail, to connect communities to opportunity.

With the 2020s identified as ‘make or break time’ for society’s Net Zero aspirations, ACE highlighted the need for investments in hydrogen as an energy source and Carbon Capture Storage technology in areas such as Teesside, Humber and the North West.

Ms Vickers continued: “The CSR is a great opportunity to generate additional business confidence for our industry which represents over 8% of GDP. We have a key role to play in both wider economic recovery and in job creation, and I hope that Government will recognise this when considering our practical yet innovative proposals to improve society’s resilience.”

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