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Sustainable infrastructure design

Infrastructure is the key to creating a healthy, happy and thriving economic climate in communities around the world. It is important to our future success and plays a critical role in creating and enhancing sustainability.


The planning, design and construction of sustainable infrastructure is of vital importance in developed and developing countries and in rural and urban areas, as it supports and connects our communities.

Arup understands this, which is why the firm has carried out work of this nature around the world for the last four decades. The firm recognises its privileged position of gathering and integrating knowledge and experience from around the world to help to create better and more responsible infrastructure.

In both developed and developing nations around the world, a lack of, or compromised access to, clean water, sanitation, energy and transportation severely compromises well-being and the economy. Basic infrastructure is therefore not a luxury that can wait for better economic times, but a precondition for supporting and creating them. The provision of appropriate infrastructure is an urgent and ongoing global requirement.

It is not simply the short-term provision of infrastructure that is of prime importance, but planning and designing infrastructure which takes full account of its own impact and its operational needs and use. Infrastructure must be sustainable if it is to benefit coming generations and make a positive contribution to the future. Providing such infrastructure now is an investment that will pay off many times over. Arup wants to be a part of this, both now and in the future.

Sustainable infrastructure design is not just about new infrastructure. It is about rehabilitation, reuse or optimisation of existing infrastructure, which is consistent with the principles of urban sustainability and global sustainable development. This encompasses infrastructure renewal, long-term economic analysis of infrastructure, energy use and reduced infrastructure costs, the protection of existing infrastructure from environmental degradation, material selection for sustainability, quality, durability and energy conservation, minimising waste and materials, the redesign of infrastructure in light of global climate change and the remediation of environmentally damaged soils and water. Clearly sustainable infrastructure should lead to improve socio-economics. Responsible design needs to balance social, economic and environmental issues.

The aim is to set a responsible standard of sustainable design in both the short and the long term. We all have a significant impact on the world around us and each of us should play a part in protecting future generations. Engineers and planners have a big responsibility to set standards of design that benefit the environment and the people who live in it. Arup's aspiration is that ultimately, talking about sustainability will become superfluous, because it will be the expected norm of a good design.

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Global contact

  • Peter Chamley

    Peter Chamley

    Global Infrastructure Practice Chair, Global Tunnel Design Leader

    Your best solution to date?

    The rock support design for the 34th Street station cavern in New York.

    Why is it significant?

    Working with the Contractor we developed a design that was simple to construct , saved time and was cost effective. Result – very happy client and a really impressive cavern.

    Your particular skill?

    Ground engineering.

    Enthusiasm?

    Projects that stretch our capabilities.

    Why Arup?

    The encouragement to try something new, to question the conventional and the opportunity to work with great people.

  • Global Infrastructure Practice Chair
  • Frank Vromans

    Frank Vromans©Arup

    Leader - Australasia Sustainable Infrastructure Design

    Leader - Australasia Infrastructure Practice

    Leader - Australasia Transport Market

    Your best solution to date?

    Elevating Arup to become a major player in large complex transport projects in Australia.

    Why is it significant?

    It provides an expanded opportunity for our staff to do great things.

    Your particular skill?

    Creating strong teams.

    Enthusiasm?

    The early creative phase of a new project.

    Why Arup?

    Personal and professional freedom.

    Anything else?

    Enthusiastic about mentoring.

  • t: +61 (0) 7 3023 6000
  • e: sustainable-infrastructure@arup.com
  • Brisbane [15:19]
  • Jan Zabierzewski

    Jan Zabierzewski

    Your best solution to date?

    Implementation of EU financed water and environmental protection projects based on FIDIC contract regulations.

    Why is it significant?

    These contracts helped Arup to develop skills and capacity to grow infrastructure business in Poland.

    Your particular skill?

    Managing complex projects.

    Enthusiasm?

    Starting new business from scratch.

    Why Arup?

    It allows people to do what is their passion.

    Anything else?

    I am a Board Member of The “Well of Hope” Foundation providing clean water and sanitation.

  • t: +48 (0) 22 455 4554
  • e: sustainable-infrastructure@arup.com
  • Warsaw [07:19]
  • Colin Harris

    Colin Harris

    Your best solution to date?

    Developing the Engineering Masterplan at Wath Manvers around a 2 hectare lake and extensive wetlands.

    Why is it significant?

    It solved many engineering problems very cost effectively, increased public amenity and land value and helped to regenerate one of Europe's largest and most derelict sites.

    Your particular skill?

    Creatively integrating infrastructure assets.

    Enthusiasm?

    Was design now developing people and business.

    Why Arup?

    Great people.

    Anything else?

    Spirit of Telford Award.

  • t: +44 (0) 113 242 8498
  • e: sustainable-infrastructure@arup.com
  • Leeds [06:19]

Explore our work


Rijkswaterstaat bridge renovations. Image shows Van Brienenoord bridge, Netherlands.

Project: Managing Contractor bridge renovations

Developing reusable knowledge in bridge modelling and renovation.

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Treasure Island. Image courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, © dbox.

Project: Treasure Island

Transportation planning, site infrastructure and sustainability consulting.

Read more

Voskresenskoe masterplan, computer map of the area. Credit: Arup.

Project: Voskresenskoe masterplan

A sustainable settlement of residential, retail, commercial and leisure accomodation.

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Traffic on Queens Street, Auckland, New Zealand. ©Arup

Project: Auckland Transport Planning Services

Developing an access strategy for Auckland's CBD.

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