Public Works and the Environment

by George H. Andrews, (F.ASCE), Dir.; Washington State Dept. of Highways, Olympia, WA,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 1, Pg. 1-4

Document Type: Journal Paper


Public works have important environmental effects. Society's changing attitudes toward these effects in turn affect public works. These changes include a broadening of the concept of environment beyond conservation itself to encompass aesthetic satisfactions and social values. The reason for society's critical appraisal of engineering lies in the length of time involved in public works from early planning to the end of construction. The time span (which lengthens as more environmental and social issues are considered) causes public works to be judged according to later and higher standards than prevailed in the earlier phases of the project. Engineering can reduce this time lag by employing the skills of its own science to anticipate and use those standards by which its works will later be judged. Engineering also must be allied with other disciplines if public works are to meet the environmental standards of the future.

Subject Headings: Infrastructure | Environmental issues | Social factors | Standards and codes | Aesthetics | Engineering profession

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