Britain's most successful megaprojects

Britain’s most successful megaprojects

Jim McClelland for Ractonteur, published in The Sunday Times.

Just last month, the London-based Ecological Sequestration Trust signed a collaboration agreement to deliver inclusive resilient growth for the people of Mongolia. Moving from big projects to big-picture sustainability, the trust has developed, an open-source, cloud-based regional platform, which gathers satellite and Earth observation, open-government and crowd-sourced economic, social and environmental data together in one place, in an understandable visual format.

According to the trust’s founder and chief executive Professor Peter Head, the fact that both the Olympic Park and Crossrail were planned and are being delivered within the context of the London Plan, put in place by the Mayor’s office, is testament to the importance of regional frameworks. “Right now we can build on the success of the likes of the Olympic Park and really scale overseas opportunities using the platform roll-out, by supporting demonstration of it with skills honed in the UK,” he says.

“Expertise and tools we will evolve in places such as Mongolia, Africa and China can be applied in the UK to attract more private capital into risk-sensitive infrastructure. However, we must use these tools to design projects within holistic data-driven inclusive, resilient regional plans for them to succeed.”

In Professor Head’s projection, the benefits of such joined-up thinking will be measurable in employment as well as earnings. “As long as we continue to push forward and apply the innovative approach at home and overseas, we can really grow and sell UK expertise globally, and create a lot of project management and other job opportunities,” he says.