Infrastructure and the Citizen

Wednesday 17 June 2015


A simple question was posed at the We Need to Talk about Infrastructure seminar co-hosted by Dialogue by Design and the UCL Transport Institute: when Government plans to invest £375 billion in infrastructure projects up to 2020, how can this be done with local communities, rather than against them?

Rather than produce a summary of the event, the authors have reflected on what was heard and learnt, and wrote a few short pieces on how the discussions that took place could advance the conversation about how best to engage concerning major infrastructure. Four themes are addressed:

Morgan Wild, Project Manager at Dialogue by Design, discusses the extent to which taking the politics out of infrastructure decision making
could enhance the public’s voice;

Dr Tom Cohen, Deputy Director of the UCL Transport Institute asks what it means for engagement to be seen as part of a social contract;

Ian Thompson, Analysis Manager at Dialogue by Design, discusses the extent to which infrastructure presents special problems for engagement and dialogue; and

Elena de Besi, Project Coordinator at Dialogue by Design, discusses the opportunities that our ‘sharing’ of infrastructure creates for overcoming the lack of public acceptance and the consequences in terms of engagement and planning.

Because the meeting was held under the Chatham House Rule (Chatham House 2014), quotations are not attributed to individuals.


About Dialogue by Design

Dialogue by Design with sister company OPM comprises the OPM Group: an independent, employee-owned research organisation and consultancy.

Dialogue by Design designs and delivers bespoke public and stakeholder engagement and consultation services. Dialogue by Design specialises in handling consultations on contentious or technically complex issues and are experts at running consultations for nationally significant infrastructure projects.