“EDSI aims to understand the responsibility and positive impact of different engineering disciplines on society”

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How Christine Townley is leading the way for Smarter Cities


I recently met with Christine Townley the executive director of Construction Youth Trust. Christine’s passion for construction is relentless, during the meeting she was constantly moving from idea to idea with an incredible creative energy. Christine believes getting the local community involved in construction is the key to a successful project. It enables construction to have a direct and tangible impact on the community. Construction Youth Trust runs projects such as Budding Brunels with the aim of opening up new career option to Year 12 Students. What impact do these projects have on Engineering Design?

We often talk about the connection in between people and the natural environment; shouldn’t we also speak about our connection with the built environment? Construction Youth Trust provides a platform of communication, connecting the construction industry to the community. This enables the community to influence the design in a positive and meaningful manner. It empowers the community and connects them with their built environment. Construction Youth Trust provides youth with a sense of purpose enabling them to develop new and practical skills. It also provides youth with a sense of purpose in the built environment providing them with an understanding of the construction industry.

In engineering we often talk about form following function. Buildings are engineered and designed to respond to their function. Providing young people with an understanding of form and function is an important step to make them feel connect and at home within their built environment. An understanding of design choices leads to openness within the construction industry. It enables open discussion in between industry and the community. In developing these conversations we can create smarter cities in which the built environment responds and adapts to the needs of the community.

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