After coming together in April, sixteen young architects, engineers, designers and energy specialists who form the National Instructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel (YPP) will investigate the differences between how young and old use critical infrastructure in the country.
It marks a landmark moment for the YPP with members vowing to ensure the next generation has a “strong voice in infrastructure decision-making”.
The panel which was launched with the aim of providing a platform for the infrastructure sector’s future leaders is to carry out a piece of research on how generational shifts are altering the demands on the UK’s infrastructure network.
Specifically the YPP’s first project will focus on the trends associated with Millennials and Generation Z - those born between 1981 and 2012.
Recognising that technological change is triggering patterns of behaviour that vary between age groups, the investigation will examine how young people will affect demand for transport, housing, energy, water and waste services in the coming decades – and how this will differ from the way their parents and grandparents may be using this critical infrastructure.
Commenting on the research, Sakthy Selvakumaran, Young Professionals Panel member, said: “The world is changing at breakneck speed, so we want to explore how the landscape is shifting and ensure the next generation has a strong voice in infrastructure decision-making, so that the projects of the future meet their needs.”
Professor Sadie Morgan, commissioner and chair of the YPP Selection Panel, added: “This is an important moment in the panel’s history, and comes at a time when changing trends between generations are creating significant consequences for what our infrastructure needs to deliver.”
The 16 members were invited to the panel last year after coming through a rigorous selection process which featured more than 500 applications. They have been working alongside the NIC to develop this programme of work.
Members will seek the views of young people from across the country, starting with those already working in the infrastructure sector.
Chair of the NIC, Sir John Armitt, said he was looking forward to seeing work progressing and understanding how their findings can strengthen the thinking of the commission. “Most of the decisions we make about infrastructure today will take many years to come to fruition, so it’s clear we need to make young people’s priorities part of the process,” he added.