Drawing on global trends and international best practice, the report considers how Australia can develop the capabilities to both plan and build more flexible and adaptive infrastructure that can serve the successful expansion of its cities.
Cities are struggling to keep up with the changes we see around us—from new technologies that are changing how we live and work, to accommodating unprecedented population growth or planning for the impacts of climate change. These pressures demand new thinking in infrastructure. In much of the world we have historically planned, designed and built infrastructure over decades, often with hundred-year lifespans in mind. Many infrastructure projects take years to get off the ground, such that by the time they arrive they risk serving yesterday’s needs.
The report was presented on November 20, 2018, at the event “Flexible Cities. Advancing Australia” held at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and examines how Australian cities must become more flexible – or future proof – to meet the evolving needs of their residents, in a country that has a long-term plan and strong record of robust infrastructure investments, with its leaders, institutions and businesses understanding the urgency and importance of smart initiatives to keep growing.
Marco Assorati, Executive Regional Director Asia Pacific at Salini Impregilo, was one of the participants, together with Heather McDonald, Head of School, Built Environment, UTS; Carlo Ratti, Director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Charles Ross, Editorial Director, The Economist Intelligence Unit, Asia; and Anna Chau, Acting Chief Executive, Infrastructure Australia.
The event emphasised Salini Impregilo’s interest in Australia: the Group is strongly investing in the country and has recently completed the skytrain bridge and viaduct for Sydney Metro Northwest, for which it won the 2018 Project of the Year award from Engineering News-Record (ENR), a leading U.S. trade magazine. It is participating in a number of tenders for big contracts, as it looks to increase its presence in the country, making Australia one of the key markets of the Group.