“In the next 30 years, 50 percent of the built environment will be entirely replaced. Notwithstanding the effect of global climate change on global metropolises with rising sea levels, we can’t keep doing things the same way. We need global-scale intelligence to communicate and a global scale of operating that addresses these challenges in a unified system. That’s where ground-level implementation comes into play, and that’s what AECOM is about…the integration of that system.” -Joseph Brown
Having just reviewed the Landscape Infrastructures Symposium proceedings, I was interested to see Pierre Bélanger follow-up on his interest in the implications of the 2005 corporate merger of AECOM and EDAW, the largest engineering and landscape architecture/planning firms. The Dirt recently posted the interview between Pierre and Joseph Brown, chief executive of planning, design, and development at AECOM.
The interview probes the status of large corporate engineering + design firms that are able to provide “total service delivery capabilities” in one networked organization distributed around the globe. In particular the conversation hints that massive corporations such as AECOM are perhaps both better suited than small, single discipline design offices to meet the current challenge of reinventing our collapsing infrastructures, and such entities may be more cutting edge and research savvy than academic design institutions (i.e. Harvard GSD). The conversation is in turns fascinating, aggravating, and very pro corporate. So much for decentralizing infrastructure….at least economically.
Quotes and Image of Joseph Brown courtesy The Dirt
How big is AECOM? 2008 annual report