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ABOUT US WSP and Parsons Brinckerhoff is one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We bring together our 36,500 staff, based in more than 500 offices, across 40 countries to provide engineering and multidisciplinary services in a vast array of industry sectors, with a focus on technical excellence and client service.

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© 2017 WSP | PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF All rights reserved. Published Feb 2017 Level 27, Ernst & Young Centre 680 George Street Sydney NSW 2000

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WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is contributing to the evolving global trend of automated vehicles and has been engaged by the RAC in Western Australia to undertake route assessments for their fully-automated driverless bus. The trial will assess how driverless buses, and automated vehicles in general, can be deployed onto local road networks in a staggered and safe manner. These works follow our regional role for Austroads, drafting guidance papers on the introduction of automated vehicles for road operators in Australia and New Zealand. Globally, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is encouraging public debate on automated vehicles. Lauren Isaac from our San Francisco office produced an industry research paper and guidelines around the introduction of driverless vehicles and their impact on society. During October, Lauren shared her findings with our clients in Australia and New Zealand. 4

Uber, iTunes and Airbnb have fundamentally changed the travel, music and transport industries and have shaken up our workday and leisure time – and there are more seismic shifts like these on the way. Disruptive technologies are an increasingly important part of our lives. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Director of Transport, Charlie Jewkes, looks at the current and potential impacts of disruption on infrastructure planning. He argues that designing for resilience in infrastructure will need a flexible and agile planning cycle.

Author Charlie Jewkes Director of Transport


The essential cycle of planning, design, construction and operation for infrastructure has not fundamentally changed since the post-war period. The project cycle for smaller, less complex projects in transport, water or power infrastructure typically takes place over a two-year window. For larger and more complex schemes, the cycle can be up to a couple of decades.

Power is still generated centrally and distributed to a broad network of individual retail end users over dedicated or shared transmission and distribution networks. Inner city road traffic still consists of a combination of privately operated freight and taxis, private passenger vehicles and public transport. They operate across well-defined and understood routes, with supply and demand unlikely to change significantly during project construction. Streetscapes in the 1950s


Niche manufacturers such as Tesla already supply vehicles with a degree of autonomy in place. Other volume brands including Ford and Volvo are in a race to provide a fully autonomous, mass market passenger or freight vehicle by 2020 – hence the current focus from authorities and insurers.

Consider the impact of current or anticipated disruptive technology trends on our infrastructure networks. Much of the current debate focusses on the Underutilisation is the principal cause of technology itself, and the immediate costs, inefficiency for private vehicles. A typical benefits and risks it may present. privately owned car in Australia spends When will battery technology become only 3–6% of its time being driven (4-10 cost-effective enough for the domestic hours a week). It’s an enormously wasteful storage of rooftop solar energy? How will level of use for such a capital-intensive, governments, councils, road operators, depreciating asset. owners, manufacturers and the insurance Future planning might see an autonomous, industry address the legislative, safety electric, Uber-like car spending 20 hours and liability challenges presented by the a day travelling around the city network, operation of autonomous vehicles? responding to a ride-hail system for pick The debate has merit, but we may be up and drop off with minimal downtime better advised to pursue a very different for recharging and maintenance. line of enquiry. An equally important discussion is yet to be aired around the potential disruptive impact of technology on the infrastructure planning cycle itself. What will the potential impact be, for example, when we combine the technology of fully autonomous electric vehicles with a service such as Uber? 6

Wireless charging at stationary junctions and signals would provide an even greater utilisation rate of over 80%. pseudo-Ubers would master the algorithms and communications needed to perfect ridesharing. Autonomous carpooling would increase ride efficiency, particularly commuting rides, so multiple passengers could travel in a light vehicle without a driver. >

What impact will ride sharing technology have on public transport?


As part of a flexible and agile system you might simply stand outside your workplace, assuming you still occasionally travel to your workplace, and select the first reasonably-priced vehicle that offers to transport you home safely and quickly – and that could be an autonomous taxi, bus, uni-pod or rickshaw!

We may see: • A rapid decrease in the volume of single-destination, single-driver vehicles travelling to employment hubs during peak hours, with a corresponding increase in return journeys as empty vehicles return to the suburbs to reload


Current planning projects may need to consider a wider range of criteria and potential future scenarios. Designs may need to cater for a range of modes or outcomes. Infrastructure planning should perhaps continue in parallel with design so that, if and when data trends indicate a particular option is becoming more likely, the design can be altered to accommodate this development at a far later stage in the project than would currently be the case.

None of these observations or thoughts are new. The same medium-term ‘what-if’ scenarios are being considered in the context CHANGING THE SCOPE of water supply, waste water treatment, IN CONSTRUCTION power generation, storage, distribution, and across many other industries. When it comes to the construction phase, • the end of taxi driving as a business But what if demand does drastically alter should contracts be structured so the • a sharp decline in private car ownership scope can be significantly varied later in a or even cease to exist? By the time it is levels, particularly in urban areas project’s development? Perhaps it should. operational, will the infrastructure we • a significant change in car user If it emerges at construction phase that are currently planning or designing be demographics – if a driver’s licence is no the business case for a project no longer resilient enough to respond to demand? longer required will children become, stacks up, due to rapid and significant An arterial road upgrade, currently in or the elderly remain, car users? Will changes in demand, a loss of profit its planning stage, may be designed by disabled car users be more empowered? payment to the constructor might be late 2017, procured by mid-2018 and more palatable to an enlightened owner • the rise of a new industry dedicated to completed by 2021-22. Will demand than wasting ten times the amount on a repurposing unused residential garages have altered so much that the forecasted ‘white-elephant’ piece of infrastructure. • swathes of almost empty city centre congestion will have reduced, been As we contemplate an exciting and car parks leading to repurposing and diverted elsewhere or have been challenging future for infrastructure redevelopment opportunities eliminated entirely? planning, we must be aware of the • fundamental changes to travel The key variable will be the rate of change intricacies and pay closer attention patterns, without the constraint of and how quickly we, as users, adopt and to evolving technologies – whether safe, secure, economical parking. embrace new technological advances. we are planners, engineers, scientists, Will all urban dwellers respond equally accountants or lawyers. positively to no longer needing to drive Developing a greater understanding What impact would our pseudo-Uber ride and own a car? Will our take-up rates be sharing technology have on public transport as rapid as our iPhone and Uber adoption, of how emerging technology and systems such as buses? Depending on or will we experience a more gradual and changing consumer demand will impact on transport infrastructure planning is the individual travel requirements of each Figure 1.1 - Traditional project lifecycle considered rate of change over a period essential for designing and developing passenger, could buses move away from of 10 or 20 years? resilient and adaptable infrastructure, designated pick up and drop off locations So how do we design resilient where flexibility and agility will be key to and collect passengers solely on demand? infrastructure for the future if we cannot our future success. What would the fundamental difference be of these questions 2015 2016 2019today? The 2020 2021 2022 between an ever-circulating autonomous 2017 answer all2018 traditional boundaries between planning, Q1 owned Q2 Q3 Q1 Q2byQ3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 taxi, andQ4 operated car companies to blur such as Ford, Volvo or even Yellow Cabs, DESIGN design and construction may need PLANNING CONSTRUCTION OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE Figure 1.1 - Traditional project lifecycle and shift. and buses owned and operated by transport authorities or private operators? • reduction in shopping-related private travel, as autonomous vehicles further reduce the cost of small-volume home-deliveries









Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 PLANNING




Figure 1.3 Project lifecycle of the future where phases of project lifecycle is blurred

Figure 1.1 - Traditional project lifecycle







Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

Figure 1.2 Future project lifecycle where phases of project lifecycle is blurred

PLANNING DESIGN Figure 1.3 Project lifecycle of the future where phases of project lifecycle is blurred CONSTRUCTION OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE







Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4


HARNESSING DATA TO SUPPORT OUR CITY CHALLENGES Every day our virtual world gathers increasing amounts of data about our preferences, likes and dislikes. For planners, designers, engineers and policy makers, it is a rich source of intelligence about how we use products and services, and navigate through our urban spaces. If we’re to design for resilience, it’s time to harness this data and rethink how we design and plan our urban environments. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Principal Development Management, Niall Cunningham, looks at how we can harness the right data sets to solve city challenges and support more resilient communities. Disruption, big data, sensors, the Internet of Things – these are the topics impacting us all and being discussed at smart city forums across the globe. They are the how of solving our cities’ challenges through the use of technology. But first, we need to identify and understand what the challenges are. Technology for technology’s sake won’t create resilient and more efficient cities to support our growing population. But by understanding the challenges cities face, we can confidently identify the technology needed to help solve them. Technology allows us to collect enormous amounts of data. Deloitte’s 2015 Mobile Consumer Survey found that almost 80% of all Australians now own a smartphone. Most, if not all, of these devices collect and share data to some degree. Federal, state and local authorities collect and share all types of data, with the list expanding on a daily basis. Add private operators like Cisco or IBM to this and we get a hint of the sheer volume of data that exists.


If we already have all of this data and we know that data is critical to unlocking smart cities, why haven’t we solved the challenges our cities face?

DATA DILEMMAS ACCESS FOR ALL Sensitive data must be protected and should not be made publicly available. But unwarranted withholding of data stifles innovation in the smart city space. Private enterprises attempt to control and restrict certain data for commercial gain, which can prevent data from being openly accessible and free to use. How do we go about addressing this issue? If the ultimate purpose of smart cities is to improve quality of life, we need to adopt a series of guidelines around how we collect, share and use data. Sensitive aspects of data can easily be scrubbed to alleviate security and privacy concerns and make it fit for public consumption. But just as architects, engineers, designers and developers accept planning systems as essential to achieving good city planning outcomes, our data collection also requires a smart city framework. >

Author Niall Cunningham Principal, Development Management

Policy planners can play a central role in defining this framework, with companies and individuals wanting to collect and use data in our cities potentially being required to operate within the framework. As with our planning systems, guidelines would be adapted and refined over time. Frameworks can also be tailored to specific cities or geographies so that, rather than impeding our smart city aspirations, they have the flexibility to support innovation and create infrastructures designed for resilience.

THE ‘PEOPLE’ TEST Connected cities in Australia are in their infancy and we are still learning what all of this might mean for us. One of the most effective ways to quality check our data is to put it to the ‘people’ test. Giving the general public access to data is a time and cost-effective way to scrutinise data. It allows communities to decide whether data is sufficiently accessible, accurate and usable.

TAPPING INTO MEANINGFUL DATA So what can data help us achieve? The Dunedin Study follows the lives of over 1,000 babies born in the early 1970s in a hospital in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The study is now in its fifth decade and has supported over 1,150 publications and reports, identifying links between issues like heavy alcohol use and poor A number of city councils have released reproductive health, and poor credit their data to the community, regardless of ratings and cardiovascular health. This concerns around quality. These councils are empirical data continues to influence now actively working to refine how and where policymakers and medical professionals they collect information, with many updating both here and overseas. their data acquisition infrastructure based on Imagine what we could uncover tapping the feedback received. into similar data at a city, state or national This is crowd-sourced data auditing at its level? We could learn more about how we very best. Once we understand the quality interact with each other and with our cities of our data, how we collect it, and how it can – how we live, travel, relax and socialise, be used to meaningfully improve the quality and track how this changes over time. of life in our cities, we can refine how it is Understanding our relationship with the gathered and shared. urban environment, and our interaction as The ‘people’ test is a learning process. communities, is an imperative. According But the more accessible the data is the to a 2014 World Bank report, cities are quicker the transition to meaningful data predicted to hold more than two thirds of collection and distribution – data that will the global population by 2050. help solve city challenges and support more resilient communities.

In Australia, urbanisation is expected to be even more pronounced. The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development predicts that by 2061, 80% of Australia’s population will be living in cities. If we’re to better respond to our needs, meaningful data is essential to planning, building and operating our cities. So how do we decipher all this data and analyse it usefully? It’s no easy task. Einstein once said that the definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple. With this in mind, the real question for smart cities is how do we isolate quality data sets and correlate them in a meaningful way to solve our city challenges? Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one area beginning to support us in this quest. It will have a significant impact on data analytics and the speed with which we can intelligently assess and correlate data. We are at an early stage in our data-rich evolution. There will be growing pains, but there is no question that these are exciting times. 9


Author Luke Gordon Associate for Technology Systems

With Australia’s current national terrorism threat level ranked as ‘probable’, it is impossible to ignore the fact that individuals or groups may have the intent and capability to carry out an attack. The face of terrorism is constantly changing and so must we. WSP I Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Associate for Technology Systems, Luke Gordon, presents some proactive security measures for the design of our urban environments. Terrorism is not a new concept. Throughout history, it has taken a variety of forms and has undergone many changes. Today, a terrorist’s arsenal includes guns, bombs, vehicles, axes and knives, and we also expect ‘lone wolf’ attacks directed at public places and facilities. As we saw in Paris, Nice, London, and Orlando, targets are often iconic landmarks, city centre precincts or offices, entertainment venues and beaches. These targets offer a higher chance of success and greater potential to spread propaganda. In the internet age, terrorist organisations have an unprecedented ability to directly influence and guide impressionable individuals all over the world.


The design of the pressure cooker bombs used at the Boston Marathon were based on instructions in an IS article titled ‘How to make a bomb in your Mum’s kitchen’. In the wake of the Paris attacks, activist hacker organisations like Anonymous quoted themselves as having taken down 5,500 IS Twitter accounts in a matter of days. While this figure isn’t independently confirmed, it hints at the scale of the problem.

TERRORISM AND BUSINESS Measuring the exact impact of an individual terrorist attack is difficult. We do know that the global cost of terrorism has been on the rise since 2010 and is now at its highest level since 2001. According to Vision of Humanity’s index, which assesses the direct and some of the indirect costs of terrorism, the global economic impact of terrorism in 2015 was USD52.9 b. More often than not, the financial costs associated with a terrorist attack are significantly higher in the medium-to-long term rather than in the short term. More immediate costs include damage to property, disruption to business operations, and necessary restoration of infrastructure and technological systems. These costs can be significant, but they dwarf in comparison to some of the indirect financial costs that can result. If we take 9/11 as an example, the total cost of the physical damage was USD55b, while the indirect cost of the attack was calculated at USD123b. Consumer and investor confidence is also undermined following a terrorist attack and higher insurance premiums for businesses deemed at risk are likely to result. Terrorism can no longer be treated as a political issue that is solely the responsibility of governments. Individuals and businesses need to be aware of the risks and take proactive measures to ensure their environment is protected and secure.

FOUR ACTIONS TO HELP SECURE OUR CITIES 1. Take a deep breath Rest assured that we are not in this alone. Australian security services are actively working to disrupt terror networks across the country and we can work together with them to mitigate risk. 2. Be vigilant Be aware of your surroundings – of changes in people around you, of peculiar behaviour, of unattended baggage. Vigilance works and has led to numerous terror events being thwarted. 3. Know your risks The pragmatic application of security in a business environment requires a solid understanding of the risks, developed through the completion of a security threat and risk assessment. From this foundation of knowledge, we can make informed choices on how security can protect and even enhance operations. 4. Develop a malleable security strategy With a bit of planning, our open spaces, buildings and businesses will still be around in 50 years or more but the face of terrorism will be very different.

FIVE SECURITY MEASURES FOR OUR URBAN SPACES 1. Securing our public realm via Environmental Design (CPTED) CPTED involves deliberately altering the physical design of communities and places to deter criminal activity. The aspirations of architects or landscape designers to enhance a public realm design often reflect CPTED principles. For openness, read natural surveillance. For clearly defined spaces, read territoriality. For seats and landscaping, read cleverly disguised hostile vehicle mitigation. It is important that we consider the principles of CPTED early in the design of our public spaces. 2. Developing secure zones Developing wider secure zones and safety perimeters within CBDs and highdensity areas is increasingly appropriate. Managed through the combined efforts of town planning and business security initiatives, it calls for effectively managing road closures, developing pedestrian zones and sharing off-site logistics hubs with regulated deliveries in designated, readily identifiable vehicles. 3. Strengthen our buildings While secure public realms are the first layer of defence, secure building design is the second. Security should be considered early in the design process and engage all relevant parties including developers, architects, quantity surveyors, owners, insurers, financiers and tenants, where possible. This approach allows for more targeted security enhancing solutions such as traffic calming, vehicle blockers, blast resistant glazing, or more technology-focussed solutions. Security measures can often provide additional benefits, such as blast resistant glazing on tall buildings that also strengthen against wind. WSP I Parsons Brinckerhoff has embraced this idea during design work for a number of iconic tall buildings in London, which included blast resistent glazing and facial recognition software. Retrospective installation of security on pre-existing buildings is sometimes unavoidable. Designers must carefully consider the cost and impact versus the benefit. Measures can include the application of anti-shatter film to windows, structural enhancement or installation of bollards on access roads.

4. Using technology against physical threats Advances in technical security add a digital layer of defence that enhances our ability to respond swiftly to threats. Video analytics allow us to identify stolen vehicles (a possible precursor to an attack), recognise criminals or terror suspects, and analyse suspicious behaviour and packages. Integrated security management systems mean we can effectively control the security of a building, lock down areas, raise alarms and provide early warning, call up security services and coordinate responses, or transfer control to disaster centres. 5. Operational security Operational security should include things such as security staffing and behaviour, mail screening, employee screening, evacuation procedures, business continuity, and information security. Good physical security is a deterrent, but without these tight operational security measures businesses are still vulnerable. Operational security should be rigorous and regularly reviewed but need not be oppressive. In fact, many of the policies and procedures for enhanced operational security are the same or similar to those used for wider business resilience. Training staff to be vigilant to the likely precursors to an attack, to have confidence to report suspicious activity to the police, and how to respond in the event of a terror attack may make all the difference. Terrorism has shown it can adapt and innovate – and we must too. Urban environment design must take every opportunity to apply security in ways that will evolve to meet the changing risk in our urban environments.

Terrorism can no longer be treated as a political issue that is solely the responsibility of governments.


FACE TO FACE: OUR GLOBAL EXPERT ON SHAPING FUTURE CITIES According to a recent United Nations Sustainable Development Issues Brief, 60% of the cities we will need by 2030 are not yet built.1 During her recent visit to Australia, we asked WSP I Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Global Director of Future Cities Agneta Persson how we can collaborate to build resilient cities that will meet the challenges of the future.

Author Agneta Persson Global Director of Future Cities

1 Source: TST Issues Brief: Sustainable cities and human settlements published by the United Nations Division of Sustainable Development

Read the full story in The Urban Developer (November 2016)

Stockholm Royal Seaport Image courtesy of Norra Djurgardsstaden



Our global cities face many challenges, but I believe climate change is the most pressing. Its severe consequences should push us to plan better, to cooperate more and to look at how we can reduce resource demand while improving density and mobility in cities.


In Sweden, we often host workshops where we invite representatives from each of the key stakeholder groups. During the workshops we’ll give stakeholders a different role. For instance, if they are contractors we ask them to take on the role of council and so on. Though simple, this can go a long way in getting the various stakeholders to view aspects from a different and more holistic perspective. This often spurs new thoughts and insights which makes collaboration much more effective.


The methodology allows us to analyse specific demographic groups affected by a proposed development and enables us to engage with them in a manner that is suitable and convenient for them. For instance, setting up a 7pm meeting in a council hall would not be useful if the key demographic you wanted to speak to was working single parents. Tactical engagement enables us to find where our key demographic is, so we can meet with them to discuss their view and what’s important to them. This is an ideal situation because both parties leave the meeting better informed.


It’s always important to understand who the most powerful driver is and what’s in it for them, so you can develop and present a solid business case when starting discussions. This way you can ensure that the work you’re doing will provide meaningful value and this way establish common ground and a common agenda. We also need to ensure we plan around the citizen. In our industry, we tend to assume a lot about what people want and how they want it. But we need to know not assume, to understand their preferences and be more proactive in talking to them.


We’d been analysing options for Swedish passive houses and an energy model, looking at how a sustainable energy system could be built up in Royal Seaport. We proposed to the city that they limit energy consumption to 55 kilowatt hours (kWh) per square metre for all new developments in Royal Seaport. This was exactly half of what the national building code accepted at the time. This gained favour with city representatives and politicians alike and 55 kWh went on to become the standard building code for all new developments in Stockholm.


The method is very powerful as it offers the possibility to reduce resource needs. It also assists towards identifying synergies and any possible conflicts of interest early on, avoiding future complications and associated costs. For instance, in energy the starting point is looking at the amount of energy we need, not how much we can produce. First we start with energy efficiency in transport, buildings, industry and infrastructure and then in the transmission and production of energy. We can create a circular economy with closed loops where, for instance, we can make biogas from the organic waste which can be used as fuel for vehicles or production of electricity. The remaining waste could then be incinerated for co- or tri-generation of electricity, heating and cooling. And if we require additional energy supply, it should be produced from renewable sources – wind energy, solar, hydro power...


It’s interesting because the model we use in energy demand management is, in essence, the same model used in Australia for water demand. Water is plentiful in Sweden, but here you have a scarcity of water in many places and therefore the technology, systems and planning are much more advanced here. It is really fascinating and very encouraging to see how things are developing differently in different countries. It just reinforces the value that knowledge transfer can have, not only between countries, but also between disciplines.



Top: Sydney Metro, Bankstown Line Right: Sydney Metro, Wynyard Station

The Sydney Metro City and Southwest project is set to create a world-class transport system, enhancing urban amenity and lifestyle outcomes and helping to maintain Sydney’s status as a global city and financial hub. Adopting resilient design is critical to achieve the robust infrastructure solutions that will leave a lasting transport legacy for Sydney. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Principal Tunnels Engineer and Design Manager for Sydney Metro Sam McWilliam and the team share the resilience of their design work. Since 2014, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, in partnership with Aecom and their architectural subconsultants Cox Richardson and Hassell, have been the technical advisor to Transport for NSW (TfNSW) for the AUD11.5–12.5b project. The team is working collaboratively across a number of disciplines to provide engineering, rail infrastructure and architectural design support to develop the reference design, tender documentation and final business case. 14

Resilience has been at the forefront of the Sydney Metro design – from station space proofing and land acquisition in the early stages of a project to station planning, station and urban design and integration, and drainage and flooding. Considering these key aspects both independently and together has helped to create a sustainable transport solution. >

Author Sam McWilliam Principal Tunnels Engineer and Design Manager

STATION PLANNING AND PEDESTRIAN MODELLING Sydney stations such as Town Hall and Wynyard face issues of inadequate pedestrian infrastructure which has a knock-on effect across the network. Platform congestion hinders boarding and alighting, and increases dwell times, which leads to delays up- and down-stream of

the stations. With this in mind, the design team for the Sydney Metro City and Southwest stations saw resilience as a vital consideration. With many Sydney stations designed in the early 20th century, it is no surprise that station infrastructure is limiting the ability of the rail line to move people efficiently. Since the turn of the century, there have

been significant advances in signalling and train technology, allowing for train frequency to increase significantly beyond anything previously envisaged. Yet station layout has remained largely unchanged with operating capacity placing significant pressure on the infrastructure.


To minimise issues and costs relating to any future redesign of our Metro stations, the new stations have been modelled to cater for any demand or frequency the service requires. This enables passenger flow to be maintained and Metro services to remain unaffected during peak periods. This was achieved using modelling to optimise the location of station elements including escalators, gate lines and walkway configurations. The design was tested against a ‘resilience scenario’ or ‘stress test’ that takes into account a theoretical ‘maximum line’ capacity. The benefit of this type of testing is to ensure that line capacity is the limiting factor rather than station infrastructure. While the modelled combination of high frequency and high demand is unlikely to actually occur, performing the exercise ensures the design remains relevant and resilient in the long-term.

Models showing stress tests undertaken for Sydney Metro

STATION AND URBAN DESIGN The architectural vision for Sydney Metro stations and precincts addresses five project objectives: 1. an easy customer experience 2. a fully integrated transport system 3. responsiveness to distinct contexts and communities 4. a catalyst for positive change, 5. delivering an enduring and sustainable legacy for Sydney. These objectives are aligned to deliver a resilient transport solution that offers a worldclass customer experience, transforming Sydney’s transport and enhancing the city’s global and local identity.


Local heritage The design of Sydney Metro mirrors some of the distinctive characteristics of Sydney’s heritage and culture, and its other iconic projects such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Olympic Park. Meanwhile, the design allows for flexibility at each station, so each sits in the context of the wider network. Seamless integration Sydney Metro has been designed to seamlessly integrate station concourse and entrances with potential future developments, improving customer and pedestrian access, and minimising disruption to the surrounding city, while delivering a functional and economically viable design solution.

Community legacy and a design for the future The aim is for Sydney Metro to leave a community legacy by creating a simple, flexible design that is sustainable in the long-term and will provide a benchmark for future local and international Metro projects. >

DESIGNING FOR FUTURE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND CLIMATE CHANGE The project addresses environmental resilience through: • comprehensive shading of station concourses for summer and winter • weather protection to meet Sydney Metro requirements • secondary canopies at stair, lift and concourse entry points • inclusion of a drought tolerant tree canopy at station plazas • integrated photovoltaic systems producing a minimum of 20% of annual low voltage operational energy required for large concourse canopies • rain water harvesting for reuse in bathrooms and on landscaping • high efficiency fixtures and fittings Storm water canal in Hammarby

DRAINAGE AND FLOODING Resilience in flooding and drainage refers to the ability of infrastructure to be immune to a major storm event and to ‘bounce back’ if any adverse impact occurs. For Sydney Metro, flooding would pose a significant issue, as any water entering underground stations would damage station infrastructure. This would cause knockon effects such as delays, disruption and potential security issues. In addition, there are socio‑economic impacts resulting from repair works and down‑time caused when trains are inoperable. In designing for resilience, there are two major criteria the Sydney Metro drainage design is based on: 1. Probable maximum flood (PMF), which is defined as the largest flood that could conceivably occur at a particular location 2. A 100 year storm event plus 0.5m of additional height to account for freeboard and climate change (100 year + 0.5m). Both criteria address the effect of climate change. For Sydney Metro, emergency access to the underground stations has been designed to be above the highest level across the two criteria, while all other entrances incorporate automatic flood barriers that activate when flooding occurs.

Level sensors installed in the drainage system activate the barriers, which eliminates the need for a person to operate them, and eliminates flooding risk during a major flood event where a rapid response time is required. Open drainage Open drainage has been designed based on available space. Where there is space, open channels and basins are integrated into the surrounding urban design and are situated at a shallow level with a flat side slope. Where space is more limited, deeper channels with steep side slopes have been designed, complete with barrier fencing for safety. At an aesthetic level, drainage collection pits also house plants so they can blend in with the urban design of the surrounding areas. Value engineering All design decisions for Sydney Metro have been assessed from a value engineering perspective. A number of alternative solutions have been arrived at to ensure the infrastructure is safe and is resilient as far as reasonably practicable, while also remaining cost effective. Extensive stakeholder consultation has also allowed for the community — a key stakeholder group and the ultimate end user — to have a major say in the design and future-proofing of the Sydney Metro infrastructure.

• design aligned to the Department of Planning and Environment’s urban renewal strategy • corridor land freed up for use as public open space • space reserved for an active transport corridor • active and public transport options prioritised over private vehicle use.

Contributors: Transport Engineer Ravi Kaberwal Technical Executive – Integrated Transport Planning John Webster Senior Associate at Cox Richardson Satvir Mand Associate at Hassell Architecture Andrew Brophy Civil Engineer Darryl Ong Civil Engineer, Transport Daniel Suwito


LIGHTING UP DARK SPACES In the past decade, few product development and application areas have seen more innovation than lighting design, and this trend looks set to continue. Associate Director for Vision Design, Fiona Venn, looks at the lighting solutions that are likely to have the most profound impact on our current and future spaces, with a focus on dynamic light.

Environmental concerns and consumer demand have fast-tracked the creation of energy-efficient lighting design solutions, while technology has enabled the creation of highly-customisable lighting systems. In the hands of creative designers, these tools are helping to inspire new, rich and informative visual experiences. Lighting professionals are embracing a range of disciplines, such as technology, engineering, photo-biology and science, to redefine our daytime and nightime spaces – and it is transforming our cities and our lives. When Nichia Corporation commercialised the first high-intensity blue LED electronic chips in 1994, the age of digitally networked LED electroluminescence had begun. LEDs provide illumination and, beyond that basic function, they have the capacity to provide dynamic enhancements to our world.

These enhancements were truly inconceivable in the past, but today these new technologies are impacting the lighting design process and the spaces we help to design. Dynamic light making dreams reality Natural light is dynamic. It is constantly changing from dawn to dusk and from season to season. Lighting designers have always endeavoured to integrate natural daylight into the design of spaces and to reflect the natural variabililty of light. This design dream has become a reality with recent advances in lighting technology, such as individually addressable lighting nodes, subtle colour mixing and smooth dimming capabilities. >

Author Fiona Venn Associate Director for Vision Design


In his Danish Wall of Dreams light project, acclaimed poet Morten Søndergaard developed a unique concept. He collected and transcribed dreams from the local housing estate residents, then incorporated them into the wall, creating a shadow relief that changes according to the daylight, time of year, and even the weather. On the wall, art really does imitate life, with residents’ dreams becoming more vivid as darkness falls.


Light is integral to art. It reveals colour, texture and scale. For cultural institutions, such as galleries and museums, lighting design plays a critical role, both in artistic aspiration and conservation. Lighting works of art to suit the materials also improves the viewer experience by matching specific colours and finishes. Tuneable lighting is an exciting way to illuminate works of art, but new opportunities are also emerging to dial up specific colours, such as warm white to burnish gold brilliance, or cool blue-white light to enhance concrete steel or water.

The latest flexible digital lighting systems for galleries includes smooth transitions in colour temperature and light colour mixing for visual enhancement. Customisable LED light sources to enhance the colour palette are already available, providing opportunities to amplify vibrancy and colour. Add to this that many works of art, based on organic materials, are sensitive to both shortwave ultra violet (UV) and longwave infrared (IR) light, LED light sources are providing a near-perfect solution, with minimal UV and IR radiation reducing the risk of damage over time.

Contemporary artworks at MONA, Tasmania, are illuminated with high-quality LED spotlights and low light levels to enhance the viewer’s experience and appreciation of works.


LIGHTING UP PRODUCTIVITY With their potential to light up Innovations in digital lighting and how we control it may soon allow us to provide lighting to tune our levels of alertness and satisfaction at work – and improve our sleep quality at home. In the late 1990s, a new type of photoreceptor cell was discovered in the eye. Known as ipRGCs, these cells are not responsible for visual responses such as vision, but instead control a number of human biological responses, including the circadian rhythm.

productivity, automated light programs that synchronise ambient light levels across a 24-hour day may be commonplace elements in our offices of the future.


Dynamic lighting also has huge potential to enhance the health and wellbeing of building occupants, with new guides such as The WELL Building Standard for commercial applications incorporating and providing recommendations for Many physiological processes, such as circadian lighting design. This includes alertness, sleep and digestion, form part a new proposed metric, equivalent of this daily rhythm. Exposure to all light melanopic lux (ELM), which enables work affects the circadian system, but narrow spectrum blue light particularly suppresses areas to keep circadian rhythms in sync melatonin and affects our wake-sleep cycle. with the 24-hour clock. This is particularly useful when designing Today, tuneable white lighting systems lighting for shift workers, who may have move us far beyond the realm of static white light, simulating the movement and little or no interaction with the natural daylight cycle, and for healthcare patients, colour temperature of daylight, based on such as those with Alzheimers, who can the time of day and the season. suffer from sleep disorders and the adverse This is particularly useful in commercial effects of circadian drift. office spaces with deep floor plans and workplaces with no direct access to daylight. Tuneable white light systems In the Daini Red Cross Hospital in Nagoya, Japan, this Neonatal can give workers a reassuring link to the Intensive Care Unit room has dynamic white light and low outside world, which will improve their illuminance levels appropriate for the health of premature infants and to ease anxiety of their families. productivity and wellbeing.


As buildings become smarter we can already envision a future where buildings will ‘wake-up’ in the morning and ‘sleep’ at night. The latest smart-building lighting systems have networked sensor controls and fully integrated connectivity, where intelligent luminaires respond to real-time data, improving the user experience and reducing energy consumption. For the buildings of the future, this makes real sense in both energy and cost savings, and for local residents and wildlife it has the added benefits of reduced light pollution. Lighting designers are embracing the latest digital technologies and discovering new ways to apply lighting to architecture and to interact with people, transforming spaces and experiences over time. New dynamic lighting capabilities add to the lighting designer’s toolbox, but ultimately it is the creative combination of light and shadow, colour, contrast and movement which allows us to design healthy, engaging, memorable and atmospheric spaces.

BRINGING OUR CITIES TO LIFE Until recently, building facades were illuminated by simple floodlights, wash lights and decorative lanterns. In the last decade, our nighttime cityscapes have been transformed by digital and dynamic light. The introduction of LED light sources, which are small, durable and can be individuallycontrolled, has enabled designers to integrate lighting into the fabric of building façades. When these are combined with digital light control systems, lighting designers can create dynamic, luminous and colour-changing building façades. By their very nature, buildings are designed to be static, but smart luminous fabrics and projections have given us the freedom to provide new and flexible interpretations of our nighttime cityscapes. From changing fields of colour to 3D video-mapping, the potential opportunities for commercial enterprises to create ‘brand magic’ and for local government and councils to directly engage with their public is just beginning to be realised. Luminous storytelling, whether in the form of the abstract or through direct communication, can create mesmerising and lasting impressions. Our team’s recent lighting upgrade at The National Carillon in Canberra provides a perfect example of this, with its successful re-interpretation of the original ‘candle light’ design.

At The National Carillion in Canberra, red, green and blue (RGB) colour changing capabilities allow for the subtle event‑specific lighting, while precise optics enhance definition.


PLANNING FOR MORE RESILIENT TRANSPORT NETWORKS As technology shapes the world around us, we demand great things from it – expecting it to make our lives more productive and useful and to increase our sense of accessibility and connectivity. But despite the benefits technology brings, we still feel that we have ‘too little time’… WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Senior Transport Planner Simon Latham looks at the time we spend travelling and how smart planning can help us deliver more reliable transport networks. We often resent the time we spend travelling because it gives us less time to do the things we find useful, such as working, shopping, spending time with friends and family, exercising and more. For most of the travelling public, the problem is actually one of ‘wasting too much time’ rather than having ‘too little time’.

While the focus has traditionally been on delivering more efficient (faster) journeys, research now confirms that reliable journeys are often more important to transport users than faster ones. This means that travelling at slower average speeds, but with greater certainty of arriving on time is preferable to travel contingency-time being built in for unexpected events. For transport professionals around the world, this represents an important paradigm shift in transport planning – a move from more efficient to more reliable transport networks. Developing a solid understanding about the specific influencers and their effects is the first step in addressing this new challenge.


PREPARING FOR THE UNEXPECTED Poor travel reliability is driven by what are known as ‘non-recurrent’ events. These are unexpected events that network and transport users have not anticipated and have not been equipped to deal with, such as freak weather, accidents and road works, which cause sudden changes in capacity and demand. These events have immediate localised impacts but can also influence cascading reliability issues, both spatially within the directly affected network and across other modal networks such as bus, train and car transport. The impacts depend on the type, duration and location of the event. How do we respond to these events and mitigate the impacts to make our transport networks and systems more resilient? As with any type of risk, we aim to reduce its likelihood and significance by identifying and implementing appropriate strategies and interventions. In the following studies, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff worked with clients to plan for more resilient networks. This was achieved by developing targeted operational planning and transport systems that identify issues faster, reduce response times and manage more effective network and capacity. A key enabler for this outcome is our world-shaping time management tool – technology.

Author Simon Latham Senior Transport Planner

DEFINING WHAT JOURNEY TIME RELIABILITY IS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA Increasing reliability requires defining a metric as the first step towards developing a fullyintegrated management system and more comprehensive network intelligence to guide the faster identification of, and response to, non-recurrent events. An element of our work with Main Roads Western Australia was to help define a reliability metric which takes into account network structure and network management objectives. The metric will be used alongside other performance indicators to report periodically on the performance of the strategic road network and to evaluate the impact of reliability focussed policy objectives and infrastructure improvements. Network management and optimisation teams will also use the performance metric to identify and cost reliability hotspots which will form the foundation for the identification of corridor and network improvements. In addition to the definition of the performance metric we conducted an audit of the current Network Performance Monitoring System (NetPReS) and the associated system architecture providing recommendations on enhancements to support better reliability performance monitoring. The ultimate aim being to develop a comprehensive reliability monitoring program with predictive capability. >

Brisbane Cultural Centre busway station



In Queensland, Brisbane City Council has developed a vision for an Integrated Parking Management Solution that better integrates parking elements.

Our transport planning team recently completed an exciting project working with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR). The project was designed to identify ways to improve travel time and reliability at busway stations between the Cultural Centre and Mater Hill stations, along the South East Busway in Brisbane.

We are advising the Council on the development of a technology strategy for their Integrated Parking Management Solution. The strategy will set out a program for the staged investigation and delivery of technology and systems for integrated management of city parking. This will give Council the tools to better understand and respond to the needs of their customers and to manage the city’s on-street and off-street parking, along with other kerbside uses, which will optimise transport network performance and support growth in the city.

Working within a constrained corridor, with little potential for costly infrastructure upgrades, the team applied innovative techniques and tools to identify resilience issues. We drew on best practice to design targeted Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and operational changes focussed on improving corridor resilience. Our recommendations aimed to maximise TMR’s current infrastructure and included managed bus access to alighting platforms, provision of social areas to provide for safer platforms, and ticketless technology.

As transport professionals adapt to the changing expectations of the travelling public, we must continue to harness strategic planning and leading technology and innovations to keep our transport networks moving and growing – and to help create resilient and productive urban centres.

Research shows travelling at slower average speeds, but with greater certainty of arriving on time is preferable.



Resilience is a term environmental professionals have been using for a long time, and today it has become part of the language of business. It refers to an ecosystem’s capacity to recover from disturbance or withstand ongoing pressure. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Technical Executive for Environmental Impact Assessment Amanda O’Kane explores the process of building resilience into the environmental impact assessment process for large, complex projects. For proponents of large, complex infrastructure projects, the concept of resilience takes on particular significance when it comes to environmental impact. Today, the complexity of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process calls for significant time and effort to identify, address and mitigate issues. Meanwhile owners and clients, faced with the reality of accelerating market change and pressure on capital spending, are looking for the most efficient path to market.


As leading environment and engineering consultants, one of our overriding objectives is to fast-track the time to market by solving key project EIA challenges early. We aim to do this while also ensuring a robust technical assessment that will provide confidence to the regulator and assessors and, importantly, a level of confidence for the community.

Author Amanda O’Kane Technical Executive for Environmental Impact Assessment

The framework of an EIA remains constant for any complex infrastructure development. Issues revolve around the project’s potential impacts on the environment and the provision of workable mitigation and management tools. Meanwhile, while the scale of the assessment may change, the legislation pathway to conditions may also remain the same. The objective of any focussed EIA process is to avoid the pitfall of becoming side-tracked by evolving EIA trends, which may demand more onerous assessment and that may not be relevant to the specific impact assessment. >


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2 5








Baseline Data Database searches Stakeholder management Strategic advice



Confirm approval requirements Terms of reference Initial advice statement EP3C referral



Field Surveys Data verification / ground truth Lab analysis Technical studies



Interpretation of findings Influence project design Impact assessment Modelling



EIS compilation chapters Peer review Public display Environmental conditions / compliance



Environmental authority Land acquisition Environmental management plans Financial obligations



Auditing Monitoring Decommissioning and rehabilitation

Before the project is introduced to the public, • we engage appropriate experts for early the planning phase must focus on defining the data commitment or to identify the environmental values to engage and influence constraints that influence the scale of the engineering decisions. As environment impact assessment and data collation consultants to proponents of large complex • sustainability in business and response infrastructure projects, our role is to ensure: time to facilitate planning for change • environment is incorporated early in – as a large organisation, we have the the engineering design process, to ability to provide teams and individuals promote early measures for avoiding that can quickly respond to change adverse impacts to be identified • we understand the environmental and to provide stakeholders with culture of current and opposition informed project outcomes governments that may dictate future • consistency in key personnel, communication and project description is maintained across the life of the project

• the first impression of a project to the public is given confidently, with robust methodology already in place and key constraints identified, and with an initial understanding of residual impact – this all requires significant ‘behind the scenes’ planning to inform the early risk evaluation • we respect the end product but remain flexible enough to know the path to get there will change – the aim is to pre-empt this change and plan for it before the project goes public

EIA trends, such as social impact and groundwater assessments.

It is also important to allocate the project deliverables into smaller components, focussing on what can be controlled for the life of the project, and identifying what will be influenced by market changes and social influences. This promotes timely responses to the challenges arising across the life of the EIA, rather than these challenges prolonging project timeframes and costs. Like a resilient ecosystem, a resilient EIA process is one that recovers quickly from disturbances, such as market changes, and withstands ongoing pressure because it has been well planned from the start.

A project spanning greater than 12 months of environmental approvals will certainly be influenced by market changes and government trends. To build resilience in the EIA process, the project focus should always be on what can be controlled, while planning for change. For complex approvals in a business environment that require a short delivery time to market, it is vital to reduce the EIA complexity by early control of constraints and to ensure consistent and informed stakeholder messaging.


ON TRACK TO A MORE ACTIVE TRANSPORT NETWORK IN PERTH Author Peter Kartsidimas Technical Executive for Integrated Transport Planning for Western Australia

Perth’s transport network is under pressure from rapid economic and population growth. By around 2050, Perth’s population is expected to increase from 2 million to 3.5 million – making it Australia’s fastest growing city. Fundamental changes to the city’s transport network are required to drive resilience around existing infrastructure and minimise urban sprawl. WSP I Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Technical Executive for Integrated Transport Planning for Western Australia Peter Kartsidimas reviews Perth’s big plans for active transport.


‘Cycling has grown rapidly in recent years, with trips on paths to the Perth CBD increasing by over 35 per cent in the past four years. To support ongoing growth in cycling, both for commuters and recreational cyclists, the principal shared path [active transport] network is proposed to be expanded from the current 172 kilometres to over 850 kilometres, linked by an interlocking network of strategic and local paths.’ Source: Government of Western Australia’s Perth Transport Plan – ‘Transport @ 3.5 Million’

Perth has a unique topography that stretches over 150 kilometres along the coast, and up to 50 kilometres inland. The city’s urban sprawl is already twice that of Munich and three times that of Barcelona’s city footprint. Maintaining high levels of accessibility to centres of activity as the population grows requires innovative solutions and designs that are modelled on mobility trends. The Western Australian Government has developed a vision to keep Perth’s population moving. The Transport Plan, entitled ‘Transport @ 3.5 Million,’ lays the foundation for infrastructure needs over the next 35 years to ensure that Perth remains one of the most liveable cities in the world. The Plan also highlights the continued shift towards ‘active transport’ (cycling and walking). Cycling currently represents about 2% of the more than six million trips taken in Perth each day. By extending and connecting the active transport network it is estimated that, by around 2050, cycling mode share could double to around 4% – or 500,000 trips per day.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff worked in partnership with the Department of Transport WA (DoT) to develop a plan for the bicycle network, which would ultimately inform the cycling component of Transport @ 3.5 Million. The initial stage involved a comprehensive literature review of the State Government’s strategic land use plans, local government bike plans, and structure plans for future redevelopment schemes. The team then used the GPS mapping tool Strava Labs to better understand which parts of the cycling network are most heavily utilised. The bicycle network is the most ambitious cycling plan ever undertaken in an Australian city and sets out a blueprint for major investment in active transport infrastructure for the next four decades. A range of on-road and off-road cycling initiatives were identified for progressive rollout over the next 35 years, including ‘green bridges’ to improve connectivity across rivers and lakes. The most notable of these, the Three Points Bridge aims to connect Chidley Point, Point Walter, and Point Resolution in Perth’s western suburbs – reducing the average riding time from Perth to Fremantle to just 40 minutes.

We collaborated with the DoT to develop five alignment options and two concept designs for the Three Point Bridge – one cable stay, one suspension. The suspension option was selected as the preferred design as it comprises fewer spans, allowing for ease of navigation for sailing vessels in this stretch of the river. The bridge provides for the full separation of cyclists and pedestrians, while also linking in with the popular Point Water parkland to tap into the tourism potential.

Above: Point Resolution Shore, visualisation by HASSELL. Image courtesy of Department of Transport WA. Background image: Strava Labs global heatmap tool



Author Peter Skindberg Section Executive Power and Energy

As urbanisation increases, our cities are grappling with how to provide infrastructure and services like waste management for growing populations. Although reducing, reusing and recycling our waste will continue to be the major focus in our Australian cities there will still be millions of tonnes of waste transported from our streets to landfill. This creates environmental, social and economic challenges that will continue to be a problem in the future. So why do we continue to bury our waste in the ground when we could convert it to energy? Section Executive Power and Energy Peter Skindberg explains how waste facilities could help build more resilient cities. In Australia, we are one of the highest waste producers in the world and almost half of our household waste goes directly from kerbsides to landfill. Per year, that’s over 21 million tonnes of waste rotting in landfills which generates greenhouse gases like methane and can leach toxins into the surrounding land and waterways. Today’s problem will become a larger and uglier one in the future, as our waste production increases and finding suitable landfill sites becomes more difficult. Meanwhile our cities are missing out on an opportunity to generate reliable power using this waste, which includes a large component of renewable energy as a significant proportion can be used as fuel is from biomass (such as wood or food scraps). Based on population growth forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we could produce up to 74 million tonnes of waste every year by 2060 unless current behaviour and waste management policy changes significantly.


WASTED OPPORTUNITY Waste-to-energy plants use household waste, known as municipal solid waste or MSW, as fuel to create electricity and/ or heat. Council collection trucks drive waste to a plant where the operator is paid to receive it and then uses the waste as fuel. This is contrary to the current Australian waste arrangements where councils – and taxpayers – pay landfill operators levies to dispose of waste in the ground. The technology for waste-to-energy has been around for decades and has been thoroughly road-tested in thousands of plants around the world. Europe and Asia, currently have approximately 450 and over 1500 waste-to-energy plants respectively. Most plants process the waste in a furnace, creating steam that drives a steam turbine to generate electricity (see Figure 1). In cold climates, the residual heat in the steam exhausted from the turbine can be used for district heating schemes. Given the unpredictable composition of waste, regulators around the globe require strict control of the quality of the flue gas (combustion products) released to the atmosphere. The emissions

limits specified by the European Union’s Waste Incineration Directive are the most commonly referenced benchmark. To meet these limits, a range of treatment processes are implemented including urea injection for NOx gas reduction, caustic scrubbing to remove acid gases, activated carbon injection to adsorb volatile metals and organic compounds, particulate matter collection using bag filters, and control of flue gas temperature to limit the formation of dioxins. So where are the large-scale MSW energy-to-waste facilities in Australia today? Most experts attribute this to an historical abundance of landfill sites with very low or non-existent state-based landfill levies and the public perception that incineration is a harmful process. This is not surprising since air pollution concerns ultimately led to the banning of the iconic Aussie backyard incinerator. Today, with rising population density in our major cities, the reduction in suitable landfill sites and significant improvements in combustion processes and environmental control technologies, the balance is strongly swinging in favour of a change to our past practises – and the advantages of converting waste‑to‑energy are increasingly outweighing the disadvantages (see Table 1).













7 1






1 Waste Delivery

2 Waste Handling

3 Combustion

4 Steam Generation

5 Electricity Generation

6 Metals Recovery

7 Ash Disposal

8 Flue Gas Cleaning

9 Dust Removal

Flue Gas 10 Continuous Monitoring

Figure 1: View the animated waste-to-energy process



Alternative method for renewable (dispatchable) generation in Australia

High capital expenditure (CAPEX)

Lower CO2 emissions than landfill

Requires policy change

Greatly reduced landfill protects the environment (i.e. land & ground water contamination)

Requires long-term supply contracts

Can convert a wide range of waste materials

Requires Government and local council support at all levels

Improves resource recovery

Lack of public understanding

Can reduce truck traffic Can reduce truck fuel use = CO2 reduction Reduced landfill requirements can present opportunities for alternative land use Waste-to-Energy plants are compact (compared to landfill sites) and can fit within our future cities Table 1: Advantages and disadvantages of waste-to-energy facilities





Construction is set to begin in early 2017 on Phoenix Energy Australia’s AUD400m Kwinana Waste to Energy project, the first of its kind in Australia (see Figure 3). The project will integrate the disposal of waste with the generation of energy, providing a practical solution to two community challenges: waste disposal and renewable energy supply.

In some communities, waste-to-energy plants are still a contentious issue. While incineration has suffered from a poor public image in the past, a mixture of legislative drivers and technical innovation has led to vast improvements in energy efficiency and environmental outcomes. This is why project developers in other countries, particularly across Europe, have gone to great lengths to make such plants welcome in any city.

Waste-to-energy is not just an alternative to landfill waste disposal. It has the potential to recover valuable resources such as metals. In some countries, the recyclables separation process is already sophisticated, with various elements of the recovered materials being re-used. For example, some of the ash generated is used in building and industry materials such as road surfaces, roof tiles, bricks and concrete production.

The WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff team has provided engineering support for this project to date, working for the preferred EPC provider BGC Contracting. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has extensive global expertise in the waste‑to‑energy field and has been a technical advisor to governments and project developers throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific for many years. The new project is proposed for the Kwinana Industrial Area, south of Perth and is expected to reach financial close during the 2016/2017 Financial Year. Phoenix Energy has signed 20-year waste supply agreements with the Rivers Regional Council, which represents six local government authorities and the City of Kwinana. Instead of driving waste to landfill, trucks will soon deliver the waste directly to the Kwinana Waste-to-Energy complex. The project will divert up to 400,000 tonnes per annum of waste from landfill and will produce approximately 32 megawatts of electricity – enough to power up to 50,000 WA households. International companies, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental and Chemical Co, will provide the core combustion and heat recovery technology at the heart of the plant. Meanwhile, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff will provide power specialists with extensive detailed design, construction and commissioning experience throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as specialist waste-toenergy experts in the United Kingdom.

For example, in Copenhagen, Denmark a new state-of-the-art plant is being constructed. The Copenhill / Amager Bakke project is setting new standards for environmental performance, energy production and waste treatment with innovative technology. The developers have paid particular attention to the architecture, visual rendition and local acceptance, such as including a roof-wide artificial ski slope open to the public. It also includes a steam ring or ‘donut’ that regularly rises from the facility to symbolise the CO2 emissions avoided due to the plant’s operation, with one steam donut representing one tonne of CO2 emissions avoided. The aim is to create a multi-purpose facility that incorporates a waste treatment plant and energy producer, an architectural landmark and a leisure facility (see Figure 4). The plant will have double the electrical efficiency of the 45-year old plant it replaces. Owned by five Danish municipalities, it will be equipped with two furnace lines and a joint turbine and generator system. By 2017, the energy plant will treat around 400,000 tonnes of waste annually and supply a minimum of 50,000 households with electricity and 120,000 households with district heating. Meanwhile, Danish firms Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and Gottlieb Paludan Architects are designing the world’s largest waste-to-energy power plant in China. From 2020, the Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant is set to convert 5,000 tonnes of waste‑to‑energy per day and will help the city manage its growing waste. This will be achieved by using one third of the rubbish generated by the city’s 20 million inhabitants each year. With a 66,000 square metre roof, two thirds of which is covered in solar panels, the building will also generate its own photovoltaic renewable energy – and it will welcome visitors for a behind-the-scenes tour of the plant’s operations and a panoramic view of the rooftop and surrounding landscape.


Waste-to-energy is an opportunity for our cities to limit the waste going to landfill, thereby reducing their environmental impact and contributing to meeting their own energy needs. It is time for Australian cities to become more resilient by putting their waste to work.

Kwinana Waste-to-Energy complex. The project will divert up to 400,000 tonnes per annum of waste from landfill.

Australian waste management policies differ state by state. As landfill levies are the main mechanism to drive waste management activities this has seen varied activities from the different states. This has resulted in NSW and WA having shown the most interest in developing municipal solid waste to energy projects (See Figure 2)






$60 SA









$0 Figure 2: Landfill levies per tonne in Australian dollars (As at 2016)

Figure 3: Kwinana Waste to Energy complex in Western Australia

Figure 4: The Copenhill / Amager Bakke state-of-the-art waste-toenergy plant, Copenhagen


TREASURING YOUR INHERITANCE The Overlander Passenger Rail route has been a critical link between Wellington and Auckland for 130 years, but trends in freight and passenger movement were presenting ongoing challenges. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Technical Executive, Evan Giles, worked with KiwiRail to solve some challenging engineering issues and introduce enhancements that improve the robustness of this vital network. 32

Author Evan Giles, Technical Executive Auckland

The best heirloom must surely be one you can use and display regularly. KiwiRail does this every day, putting on display some of New Zealand’s most striking scenery as the Overlander Passenger Rail service traverses between Wellington and Auckland. The early pioneers carved out these vistas in the late 1800s and early 20th century, linking the two cities with a band of steel.

Still going strong 130 years on, it’s a great example of supreme resilience – but future trends in rail present some interesting challenges. Firstly, we are seeing an ever-increasing patronage in urban passenger rail and a high demand for reliable, safe trains that run on time. For example, the original lines in metropolitan Auckland now carry a train every 10 minutes on average. In addition, freight trains are now expected to carry larger, heavier loads. Originally at 10-12T/axle, they are now at 18-22T/axle and this is likely to increase to 25T/axle. Can the centuryold infrastructure cope?

EXTENDING THE LIFE OF WHAT LIES BENEATH Meeting these market demands has driven modernisation in many aspects of rail – coaches/ wagons, suspension systems, locomotives, rails, sleepers and fastenings have all evolved and improved. But when the formation – or what lies beneath the ballast – is at fault, lasting effective improvements are hard won. Due to age and historic constraints, track issues are increasing. The challenge is to achieve greater resilience in the old formations or to face network collapse. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has been working with KiwiRail to develop a systematic approach to evaluate formation issues, then select and implement the necessary repairs. The back-to-basics approach looked at the issues and what needed to be resolved, then identified the minimum intervention required and the level of guidance field staff would need. >

Top: TransAlpine - Alongside the Waimakariri River Image courtesy of KiwiRail





WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff looked at six case studies and checked the factors influencing track formation issues. Previously unrecognised influences were identified, including both direct factors and extraneous factors. Common elements emerged when looking at each influencing factor from a first principles approach.

There are many contributing factors to track failure. Put simply, when the track is under train load the hard ballast pulverises the formation and, if there is any free water present, the powdery residue forms a mud slurry. The dynamic loading then pumps this sticky mud into the ballast, clogging it up.

After four years on this project, we have achieved results through a ‘can do’ mindset. Will the old formations make the grade and keep going? Yes. The line quality has gradually been improved with hard work and steady, slow improvements carried out between trains or over holiday periods.

Some simplistic past conclusions were found to be based on incorrect assumptions. So a practical method of investigation was developed and achievable repairs covering most situations were conceived and established. As part of this exercise, a number of repairs have been executed. At one problem site, almost midway between Wellington and Auckland where poor formation conditions led to a derailment, a sand blanket repair was constructed. It has required no subsequent work or intervention for over three years, which is a good outcome. Sufficient confidence in the process led to the development of a Track Formation Standard and two Task Instructions. These cover the remediation (construction) of problem formations and the investigation of formation issues through a rational, reasoned approach.

The result is a loss of line and/or level. The track may appear wavy and there may be excess rail movement accompanying wheel passage. This movement may be concentrated on one side of the track causing a twisting movement. In extreme cases, this is the root cause of derailments – and both the prime and consequential financial implications are huge.

The challenge is to achieve greater resilience in the old formations or to face network collapse.

Left: Installing a sand blanket to prevent mud pumping – Reefton, West Coast, South Island

Left: Unstable track in Remuera, where voids under sleeper and mud filled ballast can be seen

Left: Near-complete repair of the ‘down main’ at Remuera


Right: TransAlpine on the Waimakariri Bridge Image courtesy of KiwiRail

KiwiRail has already improved safety, reliability and timekeeping – all important in the quest to remain a key transport player in New Zealand. In addition, we have seen the value of knowledge disseminated amongst the team. They have enjoyed the freedom to put their thinking caps on, seek solutions, and deliver successful outcomes that make a difference.






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Evolve - February 2017