Aecom awarded design contract for $500bn NEOM project
America’s largest design engineering firm, Aecom, has been appointed to handle the design and support of the “backbone infrastructure” for Saudi Arabia’s NEOM.
What is NEOM?
NEOM is a beacon for the future of urban living and development, and is set to deliver some of the highest quality living standards that the world has ever seen. The intelligent, sustainable urban design and land use will require some very technical engineering challenges thanks to the areas’ challenging terrain.
The city is expected to become the world’s leading talent and investment destination upon completion. In addition, the city is set to be 33 times the size of New York City, and the size will even rival entire nations such as Belgium.
Aecom’s President, Lara Poloni, commented on the contract, saying: “We are excited to be playing such a pivotal part in delivering one of the world’s largest and most complex infrastructure projects”.
She then went on to say: “As the centerpiece of Saudi Vision 2030, NEOM will become one of the world’s leading destinations to attract talent and investment and drive economic change in the Kingdom.”
“Our global multi-disciplinary team of experts will bring together a diverse set of skills to deliver a sustainable project that will connect communities and create thousands of jobs across Saudi Arabia.”
Previous contracts awarded for the NEOM project include US-based Bechtel, which will provide design and project management services for its cognitive cities. Aecom also won a contract back in July, covering provide project management consultancy services for Phase 1 of Neom Bay.
Brett Smythe, Neom’s chief projects officer, said: “Neom’s next generation cognitive cities will support cutting-edge urban environments, improving the lives of residents and businesses far beyond the capabilities of today’s smart cities. It will be a beacon for future living.”
Bill Price, Aecom’s programme director, said: “In order to accelerate the delivery of this transformative project, our global team will be using the latest innovations to deliver a 100% digital design.”
Hill Partnerships, Wheat Quarter revive Welwyn Garden City
Wheat Quarter and Hill Partnerships have entered into a construction agreement for the delivery of the former Shredded Wheat Factory buildings and public realm at the exciting Welwyn Garden City regeneration scheme.
The multi-million pound deal will bring about the sensitive refurbishment of Wheat Quarter’s Listed Production Hall, Listed Silos and Art Centre. Hill will also deliver the new Louis de Soissons Building and Bridge Community Building as part of a comprehensive single package deal. Welwyn Garden City is a town in Hertfordshire, approximately 20 miles from London.
Wheat Quarter Project Director, John West, said “We are delighted to have signed the construction agreement with Hill, who bring their quality, proven track record and delivery strength on board. Having created the platform for Metropolitan to be on site today delivering affordable housing on the south site, we hope to receive planning approval for our improved scheme on the north site in the coming months and start work later this year for the final phase of this landmark site.
“We have all endured a tough three years through Brexit and Covid. However after a lot of hard work, we are excited to be back to deliver this exceptional scheme with Hill as our delivery partners, who will use their skills and expertise in town centre regeneration to make the former Shredded Wheat Factory Buildings shine once again”.
Andy Hill, Chief Executive at Hill, said it was looking forward to working with Wheat Quarter to carefully restore and refurbish the iconic listed Production Hall, Silos and Art Centre and will use its "exceptional skills" in regeneration to ensure these landmark historic buildings and the new Louis de Soissons and Bridge Community Buildings, deliver excellent amenities for the benefit of the community, helping to revitalise and breathe new life into the centre of Welwyn Garden City.
Walter Cooper & Co assisted with the acquisition and disposal of land at Wheat Quarter to a range of developers. Working in conjunction with JLL, Walter Cooper has packaged the deal with Hill, which will see them build 150,000 sq ft of commercial buildings, creating hundreds of new job opportunities in the town. The Hertfordshire Mercury reports that the site could house 1,200 flats.
Towns and cities are working hard to reposition themselves in response to the pandemic and growth in online shopping.
Wigan Council has announced that Galleries25 – a joint venture partnership between Cityheart and Beijing Construction Engineering Group International – has been appointed as the Strategic Development Partner for the £130 million redevelopment of the Galleries Shopping Centre in Wigan.
Plans for the transformation of City Square in Leeds are set to take a significant step forward with the appointment of Leeds-based Re-form Landscape Architecture which will collaborate with Leeds City Council and other stakeholders on the scheme. The company’s concept for the new-look City Square is due to be fine-tuned over the course of the next year.
Startup Digital Urban is incorporating 3D digital modelling capabilities and satellite technology. It is the latest company to join the ESA Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom (ESA BIC UK) at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory, and aims to take advantage of the support available in space and satellite technologies to further its commercial development.
Turn to page 70 of our June issue to read more on urban regeneration projects.