The world is urbanizing. Between 1995 and 2015, the number of megacities worldwide – defined as a city with more than 10 million inhabitants – has more than doubled, from 14 to 29. Small and medium cities, meanwhile, now account for 59% of the world’s population and are growing at even faster rates. At the same time, however, there are certain challenges like aging infrastructure that are being confronted worldwide.
Improving Community Life with Innovation
At WSP, we care about your city because it’s our home too. The teams who live and work in these growing metropolises must lay the foundations for infrastructure that can adapt over time, in parallel with our changing lifestyles. Cities must be designed resilient and continue to provide opportunities for employment while offering comfortable living accommodations.
There is also a pressing need to reduce the energy and water use of established cities as well as the amount of waste they produce, but there are many political and economic barriers to the substantial changes that are required. Cities are where future economic growth will be concentrated – but that growth must be decoupled from negative environmental and social impacts. Thanks to our local presence in over 500 cities around the world, we work in the communities we live in and design comprehensive, innovative, and cost-effective solutions that make those communities more livable and at the same time meet the needs and requirements of each client by optimising the municipality’s infrastructure.
The Parklands urban regeneration project in Queensland, which was the former site of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, achieved a 6 star green star rating and is a great example of WSP’s sustainable design expertise. WSP helped create a new mixed use community comprising a retail and dining hub and over 1200 residential units.
As part of the City of Newcastle City Council’s Smart City Strategy, WSP is developing a City Intelligent Platform which will underpin all future smart city initiatives for the city of Newcastle. The platform will help ensure Newcastle has effective and integrated public transport, nurtures a creative and vibrant community and features best-practice energy and water efficiency.
Combining Local Service with Global Experience
With over 50 years of infrastructure engineering experience working with city managers and developers, our teams have the technical expertise to deliver infrastructure on par with the world’s best cities, on time and within budget. Our portfolio includes projects of varying size and scale in urban centres, towns, and regions with extreme climate.
Delivering this global expertise locally we have, for example, collaborated with the NSW Department of Planning & Environment and other NSW State agencies to consider the implication of future mega-trends for the Western Sydney Airport Aerotropolis, having regard to Future Mobility, Future Climate, Future Place and Future Data. Through workshop sessions with these agencies we were able to build scenarios and consider priorities and response strategies to ensure that the planning for the Aerotropolis is Future Ready.
Working with the Westmead Alliance our team has helped shape the vision and masterplan for Westmead to become a health and education precinct that develops over time to become a world-class innovation district.
As a trusted advisor WSP has worked with Renewal SA for over a decade to shape and deliver the vision for the Tonsley Innovation District, Adelaide. WSP now brings that experience, coupled with our global expertise, to bear on the ongoing work we are doing at the former GMH site and more broadly across Fishermans Bend, Melbourne.
On a global scale WSP are also engaged in the Stockholm Royal Seaport which is a vibrant waterfront community, built on 236ha of former industrial land. The first phase of the development is now on site and over the next 15 years, the plan is to build 12,000 new apartments, and 35,000 new work places. WSP has combined the best current thinking on energy efficiency with technological innovation and new approaches to handling energy demand across the district. Buildings use the most energy-efficient materials, and draw on low-energy designs from Germany and Austria, to reach a new low in energy use of just half of building code requirements. The site highlights the projects ability to integrate an extensive transport strategy with vast open spaces and landscaping.