Rowan M.,Mott MacDonald Ltd.
Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal | Year: 2017
Large infrastructure projects involving land acquisition frequently require resettlement planning to be undertaken during the environmental and social impact assessment. However, resettlement planning needs more design detail than is usually available during a social impact assessment (SIA). Resettlement planning is best scheduled after an SIA required for environmental permitting. Timing and duration also influence the effectiveness of livelihood restoration, in particular in-kind support to build social resilience. Cash compensation, as a one-time payment, is not constructive for long term livelihood restoration. Using examples from international infrastructure projects, this paper reviews where SIA and resettlement planning intersect in the project cycle and considers the implications for the timing of livelihood restoration measures. © 2017 IAIA.
News Article | May 18, 2017
When eight-year-old Sita – an orphan from the mallah (boatmen) community which is one of the most marginalised sections of Indian society – developed a fever, her condition gradually worsened despite her family’s efforts to treat her with a variety of local remedies. Sita was lucky. While she was ill her aunt happened to see an educational film in the village about visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Transmitted through the bites of infected female sandflies, this parasitic disease (also known as kala-azar or black fever) attacks the internal organs of carriers (hence visceral) and is almost always fatal if left untreated. Symptoms include severe fever, weight loss and fatigue, as well as swelling of the liver and spleen. Eventually, the immune system runs so low, patients fall victim to severe anaemia and more routine infections such as pneumonia. It’s like being poisoned, they say. The aunt recognised VL in Sita’s prolonged fever. She alerted an outreach team, who referred the girl to her nearest public health centre, where after a two-hour infusion of intravenous medication, she made a full recovery. The diagnosis and treatment were provided free of charge by the government. Ten years ago, this story may have ended differently. Less advanced medical services meant that VL was routinely mistaken for other infections such as malaria. For those correctly diagnosed, treatment involved a month-long course of painful injections. Default rates were high. Marginalised patients like Sita did not have the income or savings for such a lengthy treatment. But positive outcomes are now commonplace across South Asia. India is expected to reach a point by 2018 where the disease will no longer be considered a public health problem. Nepal and Bangladesh are at similar stages in tackling the disease. Much of the recent legwork has come from an international consortium called Tackling Visceral Leishmaniasis in South Asia and East Africa (KalaCORE). The programme is backed by £21.5m of funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID). KalaCORE was established by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and global consultants Mott MacDonald. In partnership with the World Health Organisation, KalaCORE supports health workers in areas reporting cases, and targets interventions where there are local hotspots of the disease. Lucy Palmer, a health specialist at Mott MacDonald, the management agent of KalaCORE, says: “VL is probably the deadliest disease you’ve never heard of – second only to malaria in terms of parasitic killers. Of course, no disease is fair. But VL is especially unfair, as the sandfly thrives in areas of high poverty. Due to a lack of awareness of the disease, patients drag their families into even deeper poverty by paying for ineffective treatments. The good news is that if those patients are now diagnosed and treated in time, they can make a full recovery and usually within a matter of days.” Dr Cherinet Adera, the deputy country manager for KalaCORE in Ethiopia, witnessed the terrible choices faced by the poorest patients. When visiting a neighbourhood in the Tigray region, he was told about a 13-year-old boy who had stopped his VL treatment two years ago. The infection had relapsed, but the boy had discontinued his treatment again, after just seven of the 17 requisite doses. “When I visited his home, I discovered the reason,” said Dr Adera. “His mother was critically ill with cervical cancer. His grandmother couldn’t afford the cost of treatment for both her daughter and her grandson, so she took her grandson out of the hospital before he finished his treatment for VL. The grandmother sold her cows for the treatment of her daughter and spent all her savings, and had no money left to pay for the cost of the treatment of her grandson. Hopeless, she had decided to wait for the death of her daughter and grandson at home.” The mother died a day after the doctor’s visit. KalaCORE then provided financial support for the family and communicated with health professionals in the nearest hospital, as well as MSF. The grandson received full treatment and was later discharged as cured. East Africa faces additional problems of population displacement, in particular caused by the civil war in South Sudan. KalaCORE’s mobile teams investigated seven suspected outbreaks in South Sudan in 2016. On one occasion in the war-torn Jonglei state, the team diagnosed 22 cases, and provided on-site training, test kits and drugs. “These are areas with scarcely any infrastructure or recognisable health system, and with severe security constraints,” says Palmer. “So the mobile teams are demonstrating admirable commitment in reaching, responding to and containing these disease outbreaks in remote communities. “As with other horrible infections such as river blindness, guinea worm and sleeping sickness, VL has been neglected for too long. But now we know where it is. We know how to diagnose it. We know how to cure it. The truth is that VL offers great value for money in areas of the world that face the greatest poverty. It’s not a chronic disorder. Patients – and whole villages – can be cured completely and retain a life-long immunity.” Dr Sakib Burza, Medical Adviser for MSF in Asia, was also optimistic, although he stressed that researchers still have much to learn around transmission of the disease, as well as its relationship with HIV. “But on the question of whether we are on the right track for VL, the answer is undoubtedly yes. I’ve never before seen such a huge political commitment from across the spectrum, as well as from the international stakeholders and NGOs. “To put it simply, if we don’t manage to control this disease in the next few years with all the political, financial and stakeholder support we now have, then it’s going to be hard to do it in the future. This is our time to act.”
News Article | May 5, 2017
At the 2017 Waterfront Conference on May 10, the Waterfront Alliance Previews the Region’s First-Ever Harbor Scorecard How protected are our coastal communities and our infrastructure? Are waterways meeting Clean Water Act standards? Where are opportunities for public access to the water? Turn to the Harbor Scorecard for answers and action, neighborhood by neighborhood NEW YORK, May 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At this year’s Waterfront Conference, titled “Measuring Our Harbor: Strong, Healthy, and Open,” the Waterfront Alliance will preview the region’s first-ever Harbor Scorecard. Comprehensive and user-friendly, the Scorecard compiles research in public access, ecology, and resiliency for a neighborhood-by-neighborhood evaluation of the waterfronts of New York City and northern New Jersey. Distilling extensive research into an easy-to-use tool, the Harbor Scorecard will be previewed at the Waterfront Alliance’s annual Waterfront Conference on Wednesday, May 10, and rolled out three weeks later in time for the start of hurricane season. The Waterfront Conference takes place aboard the Hornblower Infinity, dockside at Hudson River Park, Pier 40, in the morning, and cruising New York Harbor throughout the afternoon. Featured speakers include Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, Member of Congress; Lauren Brand, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration; Hon. Ras J. Baraka, Mayor, City of Newark; and Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, City of New York, along with dozens of expert panelists and workshop leaders, and hundreds of policy-makers, waterfront advocates, and professionals. Hornblower Cruises & Events is the venue sponsor. For the third year, Arcadis is the premier sponsor of the Waterfront Conference, and for the second year, the sponsor of Arcadis Waterfront Scholars, a program that invites more than 70 undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the conference and engage with professional mentors. On May 10, Arcadis Global Lead for Water Management Piet Dircke will discuss the Harbor Scorecard in a global context using the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Water Index, which assesses the water resources of 50 cities around the world. “New York City is making strides in protecting its coastline, and the Waterfront Conference is an important step in bringing together the best minds to help benchmark our harbors and waterways,” said Mr. Dircke. “Waiting until the next big storm to create safeguards against future disasters is not a sound resiliency strategy.” “As the Waterfront Alliance begins our milestone tenth year of work, we have put together the Harbor Scorecard, an essential tool to take stock of progress along our waterways,” said John Boulé, vice-chair of the Waterfront Alliance and senior vice president at Dewberry, where he is business manager for New York operations. “While we’ve got a lot to be proud of, it’s clear that we need to do better, and the Harbor Scorecard will give citizens and policy-makers alike the information they need to act.” “The Waterfront Alliance cannot solve all of New York City’s waterfront and sea level rise issues, but its Harbor Scorecard will indicate whether we are moving in the right direction, becoming more resilient while at the same time providing more and better access to the waterfront,” said Klaus Jacob of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “Right now, New York City is making decisions that will affect clean water investments for the next generation,” said Larry Levine, a senior attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council. “Thanks to the Clean Water Act, our harbor is cleaner than it used to be. But far too often the water is still too polluted to touch. Sewage overflows still foul our waterways after it rains, making them unsafe for eight million New Yorkers to use recreationally. The Harbor Scorecard will provide a call to action for local, state and federal officials, shining a light on where we need to invest in our infrastructure for a cleaner, healthier future.” Learn more about the Waterfront Conference and purchase tickets ($150 regular ticket; $75 government agencies and nonprofits; $50 students). Registration and breakfast is 8am to 8:45am; the boat is dockside at Pier 40, Hudson River Park until 1pm; the afternoon harbor cruise returns at 5pm. Continuing education credits will be offered (AIA CES; with APA AICP CM, and LA CES credits pending). The Waterfront Conference is generously sponsored by: Venue Sponsor: Hornblower Cruises & Events Premier Sponsor and Waterfront Scholars: Arcadis Commander: AECOM, GCA , New York City Economic Development Corporation Supporter: Dewberry, ExxonMobil, GBX Gowanus Bay Terminal, Hudson River Foundation, Newtown Creek Group, Red Hook Container Terminal, Seastreak, Stantec, Studio V, Two Trees, United Metro Energy Champion: Entertainment Cruises, HDR, Industry City, Langan, New York Water Taxi, Park Tower Group, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Sims Metal Management/Sims Municipal Recycling, Friend: ARUP, Ecology and Environment, HATCH, Kyle Conti Construction, M.G. McLaren Engineering Group, Moffatt & Nichol, Mott MacDonald, NY Waterway, Perkins & Will, Scape Studio, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners, Steer Davies & Gleave, Williams, WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff Continuing Education Partners: AIA New York, APA NY Metro Chapter, ASLA NY The Waterfront Alliance works to protect, transform, and revitalize our harbor and waterfront.
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.73M | Year: 2011
National infrastructure (NI) systems (energy, transport, water, waste and ICT) in the UK and in advanced economies globally face serious challenges. The 2009 Council for Science and Technology (CST) report on NI in the UK identified significant vulnerabilities, capacity limitations and a number of NI components nearing the end of their useful life. It also highlighted serious fragmentation in the arrangements for infrastructure provision in the UK. There is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from infrastructure, to respond to future demographic, social and lifestyle changes and to build resilience to intensifying impacts of climate change. If this process of transforming NI is to take place efficiently, whilst also minimising the associated risks, it will need to be underpinned by a long-term, cross-sectoral approach to understanding NI performance under a range of possible futures. The systems of systems analysis that must form the basis for such a strategic approach does not yet exist - this inter-disciplinary research programme will provide it.The aim of the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium is to develop and demonstrate a new generation of system simulation models and tools to inform analysis, planning and design of NI. The research will deal with energy, transport, water, waste and ICT systems at a national scale, developing new methods for analysing their performance, risks and interdependencies. It will provide a virtual environment in which we will test strategies for long term investment in NI and understand how alternative strategies perform with respect to policy constraints such as reliability and security of supply, cost, carbon emissions, and adaptability to demographic and climate change.The research programme is structured around four major challenges:1. How can infrastructure capacity and demand be balanced in an uncertain future? We will develop methods for modelling capacity, demand and interdependence in NI systems in a compatible way under a wide range of technological, socio-economic and climate futures. We will thereby provide the tools needed to identify robust strategies for sustainably balancing capacity and demand.2. What are the risks of infrastructure failure and how can we adapt NI to make it more resilient?We will analyse the risks of interdependent infrastructure failure by establishing network models of NI and analysing the consequences of failure for people and the economy. Information on key vulnerabilities and risks will be used to identify ways of adapting infrastructure systems to reduce risks in future.3. How do infrastructure systems evolve and interact with society and the economy? Starting with idealised simulations and working up to the national scale, we will develop new models of how infrastructure, society and the economy evolve in the long term. We will use the simulation models to demonstrate alternative long term futures for infrastructure provision and how they might be reached.4. What should the UKs strategy be for integrated provision of NI in the long term? Working with a remarkable group of project partners in government and industry, we will use our new methods to develop and test alternative strategies for Britains NI, building an evidence-based case for a transition to sustainability. We will analyse the governance arrangements necessary to ensure that this transition is realisable in practice.A Programme Grant provides the opportunity to work flexibly with key partners in government and industry to address research challenges of national importance in a sustained way over five years. Our ambition is that through development of a new generation of tools, in concert with our government and industry partners, we will enable a revolution in the strategic analysis of NI provision in the UK, whilst at the same time becoming an international landmark programme recognised for novelty, research excellence and impact.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2007.1.1 | Award Amount: 1.99M | Year: 2008
Telecommunications is experiencing major change. Sector actors are searching for new strategies as globalisation, mergers, convergence and new and disruptive technologies happen. The eMobility Technology Platform was formed to address this challenge and has almost 650 members. It has a track record of success in facilitating consensus building. The strategic objective of the eMobility CA project is to facilitate the emergence of a common understanding, between the European sector actors, leading to agreed road-maps and contributing to the global competitiveness of the European telecommunications sector on the following key challenges: the need to integrate the road-maps of the mobile and wireless sector with those of the health, transport and the environment sectors, the need to extend the eMobility Strategic Research Agenda to cover new technologies, the need to support the definition of a European perspective on the Future Internet, positioning these views in the international context, and the need to build the opportunities to use Structural Funds to develop leading edge markets in Europe, promoting the take-up of the RandD output of collaborative projects. The approach is based on the voluntary contributions of FP 7, national, and COST Programmes projects and of eMobility members, to the production of a series of recommendations, reports, road-maps and events by the eMobility CA. The eMobility Steering Board has endorsed the proposal. Support has been offered by a range of proposed and existing projects. The eMobility CA project results will highlight the collective recommendations of a representative body of European expertise, on priorities for future multi-sector, mobile, wireless and Future Internet RandD leading to increased momentum, critical mass and effective use of scarce human and time resources in RandD activities. 135 person months of funded effort will require a Community contribution of 1.5 M Euro with 80 % funding
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 634.73K | Year: 2015
Recent flooding events such as those of winter 2013/14 in the South West of UK have highlighted the importance of having greater resilience in our transport infrastructure. The failure of bridges or even a reduction in service during and in the aftermath of floods can lead to significant direct and indirect costs to the economy and society, and hamper rescue and recovery efforts. For example, 29 bridges collapsed or were severely damaged during the 2009 floods in Cumbria leading to nearly £34m in repair and replacement costs, and significantly larger economic and societal costs. This research aims to enhance the resilience of our transport infrastructure by enabling practitioners to assess the risks to bridges from debris accumulation in the watercourse, a leading cause of bridge failure or damage during floods both in the UK and world-wide. It will address an important industry need as there is currently no guidance available for practitioners to evaluate the hydrodynamic effects of debris blockage at bridges and in particular, at masonry bridges, which are most susceptible to debris blockage. Floating debris underneath or upstream of a bridge can significantly increase downstream flow velocities, which can worsen scour around piers and abutments. It can also increase water levels on the bridge and thereby cause large lateral and uplift pressures, which are especially problematic for masonry bridges since they rely on self-weight of masonry and fill to transfer load. This project will aim to understand and characterize the hydrodynamic effects of debris blockage through a combination of laboratory experiments in flumes and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling. It will then develop a risk-based approach for assessing the scour, and uplift and lateral forces at individual bridges due to debris blockage during flood conditions, and incorporate this approach within existing guidance for the assessment of bridges under hydraulic action. The project will be arried out by a multi-disciplinary research team with a strong track record of generating impact, and assisted by an industry consortium composed of major stakeholders involved in UK bridge management.
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 557.66K | Year: 2012
There are a variety of aerodynamic effects associated with train design and operation - the determination of aerodynamic drag, the effect of cross winds on train stability, pressure transient loading on trackside structures, the physiological effect of tunnel pressure transients, the effect of train slipstreams and wakes on waiting passengers and trackside workers etc. The magnitude of these effects broadly increases as the square of the vehicle speed and thus with the continued development of high speed train lines aerodynamic effects will become more significant in terms of design and operation. Now it can be hypothesised that the techniques that have been used to predict aerodynamic effects in the past (wind tunnel and CFD methods) are likely to determine magnitudes of pressures, velocities, forces etc. that are higher than those observed in practice, where other effects - such as track roughness, variability in meteorological conditions etc. are likely to usually obscure aerodynamic effects to some extent and, because of this, some of the current design methodologies are unnecessarily restrictive and/or conservative. Thus the aim of the current project is to investigate and measure a range of aerodynamic phenomena observed in real train operation, both relative to the train and relative to a fixed point at the trackside, and to compare how such effects match model scale measurements and various types of CFD calculation, and thus to test the validity, or otherwise, of the above hypothesis. This will be achieved through the instrumentation of the Network Rail High Speed Measuring Train to measure aerodynamic effects, as the train carries out its normal duty cycle around the UK rail network. Also trackside instrumentation will be installed at a suitable site that will allow off-train phenomena to be measured. Calibration wind tunnel, CFD and moving model tests will be carried out in the conventional way for comparison with data measured at full scale. The full scale, model scale and computational trials will be carried out by experienced RFs and will provide data for two doctoral studies, one of which will investigate how the train based measurements of cross wind forces, pressure transients etc compare with those predicted by conventional methodologies, and one of which will investigate how the track side measurements compare with conventional test results. The investigators will synthesise the results and make recommendations for future aerodynamic test methods.
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 99.99K | Year: 2012
Ground improvement technologies are extensively applied within the infrastructure asset (e.g. retaining walls, embankments, foundations support, pavements and slopes stabilisation among others) and they have a strategic importance for the current geotechnical practice. Among them, mixing soils with tensile resistant fibres is a relatively new soil reinforcing technique which can represent a cost-effective solution for a large number of applications. The reinforcing effect of the fibres is highly anisotropic as a result of the preferential bedding induced by the mixing and compaction processes employed. This anisotropy certainly dictates the effectiveness of the technique and its disregard can be critical, if not catastrophic, in real applications where rotation of the principal stresses and strains axis almost invariably occurs within a soil mass. However, the anisotropy of this material has never been investigated and a model which is able to predict its behaviour under loading modes representative of field conditions is still not available. It follows that the field application of this reinforcing technique is currently limited to geotechnical systems of very minor importance. This research will fill the gap between current knowledge and the needs for more extensive and important application of the technique. The anisotropy of the composite material will be experimentally investigated by using the Hollow Cylinder Torsional Apparatus (HCTA), which possesses a unique freedom to impose a variety of loading conditions in the generalised multiaxial stress space and simulate those of real geotechnical systems. A new anisotropic constitutive model for fibre reinforced soils in the multiaxial stress space will be developed based on the experimental findings. The new model will allow the use of numerical analyses for the safe design of geotechnical systems involving fibre reinforced soils. Indeed, the design of any fibre reinforced soil systems will be invariably governed by the anisotropy of the material.