The Conscious Beginning of Cities -
Our Engineered Environments
Myles Lind, Vice President of IPWEA NZ
I was looking for something to read while I had my lunch the other day. And in the pile of magazines stacked against the window of the office kitchen area was an Engineering New Zealand magazine. I grabbed it. Inside I found a great article on the engineering of New Zealand. There was one observation from a founding engineer that took my attention. They said, the cities we live in are engineered environments. The quality of life we have today is because we engineered buildings, essential services and amenities to make it that way. I’d never heard public works engineering framed in that way – from a conscious beginning.
Today, we are tasked with bridging the gap between the managing of assets from a past generation with the need to make sure our public works services are planned and ready for a changing world and future generations. This is something I have been thinking about. One of the questions that has been raised is the increasing use of technology in this future. Where I work, one of the challenges we have put to ourselves is – how can New Zealand best use technology to create the safest, most productive transport corridors in the world, both in real time and over the life cycle of the assets? It’s early days yet, but one of the foundations to meeting this challenge we believe, will be a common infrastructure data standard.
I had the pleasure of meeting Greg Preston from Canterbury University the other week and we discussed this challenge. Greg and his industry partners have been championing the use of infrastructure data standards around the country. I believe that Greg is onto a good thing here –good for us as public works professionals and good for the next generation of public works customers. A common infrastructure data standard will enable public works to build our assets first virtually, and then physically. It’s a case of using technology to really leverage the benefits of the design phase of a project – where truly the most value can be created. This use of technology will open the door to a new world of insights, efficiencies and value creation to decisions across the asset lifecycle. Couple that with technology informed, real-time personalised customer decision making in the use of our services, and we really are heading to a new frontier for public works globally.
Let the journey continue.