Unfolding impacts of worldwide infrastructure are putting acute pressure on the engineering profession to steer future development onto a more sustainable path, said global practitioners meeting Sept. 14-16 in London. The warnings came at the annual conference of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, at which the group, which represents close to one million global engineers, released its first “state of the world” report. Hundreds of delegates from all continents were urged to take a leadership role to find ways to curtail future negative effects.
“We meet...at a time when the damage we have been doing to our world has become clear, and...the need to take action is even clearer,” said Geoff French, chair of both Scott Wilson Group PLC., Basingstoke, U.K., and of the country’s Association for Consultancy and Engineering. Among the report’s statistics he cited are global population growth and urbanization is generating the equivalent of a city of nearly two million people every two weeks, and one billion people lack access to adequate water supply.