National Infrastructure Needs to Satisfy People Concerns and Net Zero

The National Infrastructure Commission’s Design Group has produced the report Design Principles for National Infrastructure a month before the government is expected to publish the National Infrastructure Strategy during March’s Budget. The report suggests that four key design principles need to be addressed in all new national infrastructure projects.

According the commission’s chair Sir John Armitt, the report is the first of its kind to be produced in the UK. Its recommendations are based around four key principles for the delivery and planning of projects to renew and construct nationally significant infrastructure. These are:

  • People: Projects should be instinctive to use, human scale and seek opportunities to improve the quality of life for people who live and work nearby.
  • Places: Schemes should provide a sense of identity for communities, supporting the natural and built environment and enriching ecosystems.
  • Climate: Infrastructure must help set the trajectory for the UK to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner. It must be capable of adapting to climate change.
  • Value: Value should be added beyond the main purpose of the infrastructure, solving problems well and achieving multiple benefits.

For the Design Group, schemes outlined in the National Infrastructure Strategy will have their ‘legacy’ judged on how they respond to the needs of the climate crisis, the environment and communities. It wants the government to adopt these principles in its own strategy.

“We are moving into a seminal decade for our infrastructure and the design of every major project should celebrate our nation’s ambition for flourishing communities and an enriched environment… By embedding excellent design into planning and delivery from day one and encouraging everyone in the sector to embrace it as part of their role, we can ensure we leave a proud inheritance that inspires people and helps the UK achieve our climate targets.”

 – Professor Sadie Morgan, chair of the National Infrastructure Design Group


With such as vast range of experience, no planning consultancy is better suited to tackle climate change as we are.  We are happy to work with local authorities, businesses, developers, land owners and communities to ensure that all elements of the planning process make the essential impact to meet the Government’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050 in fitting with the new Environmental Bill. Contact us to find out how we can help you with the new changes to UK law through the Environment Bill.

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