For every designer, engineer and contractor engaged in building or upgrading infrastructure, the consequences of inadequate environmental or climate justice reporting are not limited to legal and reputational complications. Weak reporting makes it more likely you’ll hurt a vulnerable community. But with rigorous geomapping and geocoding, you can identify and mitigate potential negative impacts — such as the months or years of construction-related traffic required for major infrastructure projects.
Using infrastructure to improve equity — especially health outcomes — must start long before construction plans are finalized. Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation halted the expansion of Interstate 45 through Houston after environmental review “found it would have a massive impact on the communities it would roll through, displacing more than 1,000 homes and housing units, 344 businesses, five places of worship and two schools,” according to Politico.
If we upgrade U.S. infrastructure without using the lens of equity to examine our priorities and practices, then we risk continuing to disenfranchise our most vulnerable communities. Thankfully, we have a rare opportunity to make things right and build infrastructure that considers the benefits for all who are impacted.
UN Climate Change Conference (Nov. 6-18)
WSP is all in for the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP27) this year in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The firm’s delegation is working in close collaboration with the UN Climate Champions team and numerous partners, including the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, Resilience Rising, Resilience First, the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
WSP is helping shape the discourse and presenting on a wide range of topics — the future of funding the net-zero transition, realizing infrastructure’s resilience dividend, mainstreaming nature-based solutions and integrating green infrastructure into grey — and supporting the Resilience Breakthroughs implementation labs across the spectrum of impact systems: food & agriculture, water & nature, human settlements, oceans and infrastructure.
Learn more about how WSP is activating its engagement at COP27, hybrid events you can register to attend, and the distinct suite of capabilities that make WSP a leader in climate, resilience & sustainability: https://www.wsp.com/en-us/campaigns/cop27
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