Atkins white paper outlines recovery path for transport in post-Covid world

SNC-Lavalin Group company says current crisis an opportunity to reshape GCC transport and mobility beyond pandemic by using data analytics and digital engineering

Atkins has outlined the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the transport industry in a White Paper in which it has provided a strategic framework to transition from short-term recovery to a medium-to-long term transformation to achieve resilience and sustainability.

Titled “Re-imagining Transport and Mobility for a Sustainable Economic Recovery”, the white paper has been developed by Atkins Acuity, an advisory business arm of the SNC-Lavalin Group company.

According to the paper, with lockdowns and restrictions on economic and social activity lifting, the challenge is how to maintain re-opening safely, restore business and consumer confidence and provide the right economic and fiscal stimulus which will support the early stages of a viable recovery towards the end of the year and into 2021.

The paper added, however, that the transport industry in the GCC has the opportunity to re-shape its infrastructure, services and operations through the adoption of diagnostic tools, data analytics, planning principles and digital engineering to achieve improved outcomes and a better future.

Johan Hesselsøe, managing director, UAE, at SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins, said: “In the UAE, we have seen an increased focus beyond Covid-19 on creating sustainable infrastructure and transport systems that enhance the wellbeing of residents and minimis1e environmental impacts. We are working closely with our clients to navigate current challenges and achieve their long-term goals by providing our engineering, design and project management expertise combined with digital capabilities.”

Ian Redmayne, managing director, KSA at Atkins, added: “Despite the challenges caused by Covid-19, the crisis has reinforced the need for economic diversification in the Kingdom to foster socio-economic development in line with Saudi’s Vision 2030. With a proven track record in Saudi Arabia, we are proud to support this vision by sharing our market knowledge and expertise and working together with the public and private sectors to shape sustainable communities of the future.”

Through collaboration of SNC-Lavalin’s transport planning and strategic advisory experts across the world, the White Paper presents a three-phase model: Reopen – Recover – Reimagine. This frames how the transport sector should respond to the unprecedented socio-economic shock inflicted by Covid-19, as well as impacts of low oil prices on GCC exports and finances. Looking beyond the immediate crisis, SNC-Lavalin’s reimagined approach to the future of transport brings together a broader agenda combining three pillars of land use, physical mobility and digital connectivity and comprises eight cross-cutting building blocks.

Jonathan Spear, director, Strategic Transport Policy and Planning at Atkins Acuity, said: “Across the world and the GCC, Covid-19 continues to cause short-term disruption to transport infrastructure and services, and pose challenges to organisations within the sector. However, the pandemic also offers the opportunity to reimagine a new paradigm for a more sustainable, equitable and resilient transport system and experience. Through our eight building blocks, and by adopting innovative mobility and connectivity concepts, technologies and service models, the industry in the GCC has the opportunity to take bold decisions around planning, delivery, collaboration and regulation and reshape the transport of the future.”

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