- Environment & Infrastructure
- Strategic consulting
- Specialist consulting
- The Living City
- Happold Consulting
The Living City Model forms the basis of our integrated approach to urban development.
Fostering solutions that are focused on the allocation of city and regional resources to achieve an identified long-term vision or development goal. We have the capability to contribute to finding solutions to issues such as physical, economic and social transformation, addressing human capital and infrastructure deficits, and environmental management. Working with decision makers, we develop strategies, policies and programmes that help to balance and prioritise immediate and long-term needs. Through the use of technology we bring government and agencies together to ensure efficient decision making. We are currently undertaking research into issues surrounding ownership, use and security of data – key fundamentals of a true Smart City.
All too often the spatial configuration and urban design of places is not based on a sound economic rationale and does not consider social inclusivity aspects. Our integrated economics service ensures that these factors are always addressed. Through the use of rigorous economic and social baseline analysis, the review of policies and the political environment and the development of ex-ante economic and social impact analyses, we ensure that any city development will provide the maximum economic and employment returns and ensure social inclusion and the development of social capital. The team’s financial modelling expertise also ensures that developments are commercially viable and, thereby, deliverable in the wider marketplace.
Understanding of how businesses work, how they are encouraged and how they are integrated into development plans is of paramount importance to commercial and social wellbeing within the urban realm. We bring an understanding of the fundamentals of market, demographic and social issues, finance, sustainability, design and implementation to finding solutions for the development of new cities, urban quarters and major developments which work from a range of urban perspectives. In addition, the underlying technology platforms and data collation and use generated through Smart Cities will drive new business opportunities and changed business relationship. Our relationships across a broad spectrum of global corporations (including hi-tech companies) allows us to keep at the fore-front of emerging business trends.
Energy selection, utility and ICT infrastructure are important aspects of the land development process; the implications extend beyond their intrinsic cost. A dedicated energy and utility service is required to deliver best value, innovation and to provide continuity at and through all development stages. We work closely with developers, masterplanners, planning authorities and utility providers to ‘open up’ sites by formulating sustainable, integrated and future proofed centralised and de-centralised strategies that incorporate technology to create and sustain efficient systems. We also have experience of providing consultancy on pfi and ppp solutions, helping to create business models and relationships to source alternative funding mechanisms and to introduce key partners to help with delivery of energy and other infrastructure networks and utility supply.
We live, work, play and interact with each other inside the walls and spaces of buildings and the urban realm. These places define us and reflect our aspirations, ranging in shape and form from the humblest shelter to the most awe-inspiring of our creative achievements. Public spaces should be created in our towns and cities that put people first; provide environments where people feel comfortable and secure and which foster a sense of community. We are showing the way forward in designing buildings and public realm that are environmentally responsible, visually inspiring and true to our sound engineering principles. Our practical technology-led solutions balance sustainability with functionality and high performance. We have also delivered award-winning examples of recovery and regeneration of urban areas blighted by previous generations, focused on exploitation of land and resource with little regard for the damage they were inflicting on the environment.
Our approach to mobility and inclusion starts with people and understanding how they will arrive at a place, how they will move through it (whether on foot, bicycle or by private or public transport) and what facilities they need while they are there. It is important that highways, transport corridors and public realm are designed to fit into the surrounding urban fabric and help shape the urban structure. They should enhance movement routes and transport hubs where possible, whilst encouraging the use of non-motorized movement modes to reduce the dependence on the private vehicle. Our work to ensure inclusion is embedded within our designs goes beyond mobility, providing solutions that recognise the difficulties of people with hearing, sight and speech have when living or working within an urban environment.
Our “Lean, Mean and Green” design philosophy aims to produce designs which lower demand for valuable resources, provide efficient structures, and deploy innovative technology. At a broader level we help our clients shape new city developments, implement climate change adaptation projects, designing and implementing strategies to reduce carbon and take advantage of carbon finance and trading, are among the services we can offer. In addition we develop environmental assessments and strategies at all scales to support sustainable development and encourage more efficient resource management.
The process of agriculture and subsequent food production is a vitally important requirement of sustaining communities. We provide well balanced strategies that accommodate the food lifecycle (growing, packaging, delivery and waste) and promote sustainable food production to source nutritious local food that is both affordable to the community and helps in maintaining and encouraging local economic drivers.
Sustainable waste management implementation is increasingly becoming a priority action for national government, local and municipal authorities and private businesses as landfills reduce in capacity, tipping fees increase and tougher legislation is introduced that restricts further landfills . We bring an understanding of municipal solid waste management coupled with latest integrative technologies that support the ideal of sustainable waste reduction, recycling and reuse. Our approach ensures that the impact of waste from urban development is mitigated and treated sustainably. This work extends beyond solid waste to consider waste water (and how that may be treated and re-used within the water cycle), waste heat and energy (and how that may be captured and used within infrastructure systems) and materials (re-use of construction materials, design for transformation and dismantling, design for reduced embodied energy and thus reduced material needs). We are also funding research into opportunities and blockers for closed-loop and integrated resource systems within urban space so as to continue the drive to eliminate waste from the urban life-cycle.
Education and training support growth and wellbeing. Our developments and buildings promote well planned schools, universities and training facilities that are sustainable, encourage innovation and inclusion and provide a sound and resilient base to foster and encourage the education of the community. On some projects, we work with our clients to develop their capacity to manage their portfolio growth, whether infrastructure, buildings or business. We also provide the owners and occupiers of our buildings with ongoing support to ensure that they are able to operate and maintain them with greatest efficiency and reap the benefits of the combined investment into ‘smart’ building space. Within our internal R&D work, we are engaged with Universities, Medical Centres, major corporations and the public sector in examining how technology and improved ICT systems can help to benefit less affluent and less accessible communities with improved education and health programmes.
Our approach is simple, we believe in providing amenities and facilities that promote a healthy lifestyle and encourages physical exercise that is affordable and available to all residents. The urban realm should be safe and residents should be supported by the best emergency services both of which are underpinned by technology to ensure efficient and fast response.As noted above, we are also progressing research into the use of technology and ICT to help people to manage and maintain their own health, allowing the finite capacities of government health programmes to focus on the critical areas of care and treatment.
The promotion of a diverse and open city with neighbourhoods for all types of people is justifiable aim for most cities. We develop plans and strategies that promote inclusiveness and diversity, are family orientated and provide a special sense of community for its inhabitants. We are undertaking research to identify how communities and not just business and government organisations benefit from greater access to data and the exploitation of data. At the same time, deployment of ‘smart’ systems and networks has the capacity to provide greater access for individuals and communities to health care, education and training, and information relating to environmental, social and economic matters – helping to provide both resilience and opportunities to community life.