Orange County Branch Newsletter

December 2014

Sustainability Committee

International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure 2014

By:  Sam Ali F. ASCE, PE, LEED AP, ENV SP, Co-Chair of the Sustainability Committee, ASCE-OC

Conference Theme: Civil Engineers — Creating Infrastructure for a Sustainable World

The first International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure was held in Long Beach on November 6-8. Project owners, practitioners, researchers, and design makers discussed the critical issues of sustainability: how to plan, design, and construct the kind of infrastructure projects needed to handle a new and increasingly harsh operating environment. The conference brought together experts from around the world, the people who are in effect building the new knowledge base for sustainable engineering. They are driving change: delivering projects that work effectively while developing the requisite standards, tools, and methodologies needed for future success.

The conference enabled practitioners to engage with their colleagues, exchange ideas, and see a broad spectrum of activities in sustainable infrastructure. It began with a reality check, the importance of infrastructure to the United States and world economy. At the opening plenary, leaders from the World Bank, China, U.S. Homeland Security, and state and local officials offered their unique perspectives on sustainability in the built environment. The plenary was followed by two full days of knowledge building and networking opportunities. Topics covered include climate change, water resources, transportation, eco-cities, solar power, adaptation, extreme hazards, education, ethics, developing world issues and infrastructure resiliency.

ASCE President, Robert Stevens

Tianjin University China was a co-sponsor of this conference. Two sessions were dedicated to the challenges faced by and progress towards sustainable urban infrastructure development in China. The conference organizers worked closely with Dr. Guanyi Chen, the Dean of the School of Environmental Engineering and Sciences, Tianjin University, and a member of the Steering Committee for this conference, to facilitate the participation of Chinese delegates in this conference and seamless transition to the planned 2016 conference in China.

The City of Long Beach was chosen as the location of this conference not only for its attractions and travel convenience, but as an example of how a major international port and coastal city is dealing with the issues of sustainability. The Port of Long Beach has been an industry leader committed to the principles of sustainability since the inception of its landmark “Green Port Policy” in 2005. The Long Beach Harbor tour included its landmark sustainable infrastructure projects, such as California’s first cable-stayed vehicular bridge, the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement project, and our nation’s first electrified and fully automated container yard, the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, both currently under construction. The Harbor received Sustainable Project award from the ASCE.

For more details about the conference click on this website: