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Published On: Wed, Sep 7th, 2022

What Civil Engineering Firms Can Do For The Community

The current population of the world is rounded off to eight billion people in 2022. This odometer provides a real-time count of births and deaths globally and per country. With so many people crowded together on the planet, biodiversity decreasing rapidly, and boundaries shifting or falling away due to the large movements of refugees and other displaced people, there is less synergy, greater pollution, and increased consumption of natural resources. The latest figures at the time of writing showed 89.3 million displaced people, of which 27.1 million are refugees. Experts are divided as to whether the earth can recover from what humans have done to deplete its natural balance and disrupt its ecosystems.

Civil engineers are confronted with needing to provide access to services for their communities in a sustainable manner and to ensure that their projects do not add to the growing problems on the planet. We examined the challenges that civil engineers face in developing communities, contrasted this with their role in developed communities, and looked at how they can make a difference in the world.

Photo courtesy of the Discovery Channel

The Role of Civil Engineers in Developing Communities

Civil engineers play a vital role in our communities. Often, they are tasked with consulting with members of communities at the grassroots level when attempting to get new projects approved. The communities may have their own ideas of what is required to solve the problems in their areas, such as informal housing settlements, gravel roads (if they are lucky), lack of sanitation, housing, and water, no waste removal, dealing with constant flooding, and not having access to transportation routes. Engineers have to work with budget constraints, public policies, and the need for safe infrastructure.

An example of the type of challenges they face with developing communities is a refusal to move from an area that is unsuitable for development to a new one that can sustain their population and provide adequate infrastructure. While negotiations stall, people are getting flooded, ambulances, fire engines, and police vehicles do not have access roads to reach residents in case of emergencies, and children are missing school. 

The Role of Civil Engineers in Developed Communities

Civil engineers face different challenges when working with developed communities. Whereas developing communities demand services and infrastructure, developed areas are concerned with preserving the natural environment, preventing yet more species from becoming extinct, and using sustainable materials and methods of construction. These communities are also more interested in improving traffic flow on major routes, reducing big cargo vehicles on the highways during peak traffic, and increasing the number of quality retirement villages.

While civil engineering firms St. Louis have equipped developed communities with their full infrastructure requirements such as stormwater sewers, waste management, fresh drinking water, sanitation, roads, hospitals, and parks, developing communities call for these services to enjoy a basic quality of life. 

The Philanthropic Role of Civil Engineers

Engineers belong to one of the best-paid industries around the globe. This makes them inclined to help out in their personal capacities too.

For example, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) volunteers its services to citizens who are undergoing natural disasters such as tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. All its members are engineers which makes them uniquely qualified to assist with rebuilding efforts,

 The Engineering for Developing Communities (EDC) program is an education initiative for engineering students and qualified professionals to find solutions to developing communities around the globe.

There is much that engineers already do for their communities and many more ways they can continue to play a role in quality of life for all.

Author: Carol Trehearn

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