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Infra[un]structured powered by the National Infrastructure Commission

Infra[un]structured powered by the National Infrastructure Commission

By Infra[un]structured
Whether it’s the water that runs from your taps, travelling from A to B, or the digital connectivity you’re relying on right now, we wouldn’t get very far without infrastructure.

In this series, we explore how infrastructure relates to everyday life, and how changing technology is affecting what infrastructure should and could do for us.

This podcast is made by members of the UK National Infrastructure Commission's Young Professionals Panel. If you have feedback on the podcast, ideas for future episodes, or simply want to get in touch, please email us at
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Social infrastructure and levelling up
In this episode, the Ann Zhang from the YPP is joined by Rayhan Haque from the Local Trust, Emily Nielsen from Frontier Economics, and Zineb Ziani from the National Infrastructure Commission to discuss social infrastructure. We answer the questions of what is social infrastructure, why does it matter, and how can we make sure that we have enough of it?
March 31, 2022
PAS 2080
PAS 2080, what is it? What does it mean for your role? You may have come across PAS 2080 in your role already, you may even be an expert looking to hear new perspectives, or you may be completely new to the topic and looking for a quick digestible introduction. Either way, this podcast promises to be a great addition to your day. Natalie Bird, Investment appraisal advisor specialising in carbon management and PAS 2080 at Mott Mac Donald and Ranier Valcarcel, Associate Director at BuroHappold Engineering joined Brittany Harris from the YPP to share their experience of working with PAS 2080 and great advice on how to make best use of this framework as your progress on your journey to Net Zero Carbon.
October 12, 2021
Building Back Better
In this episode, the YPP are joined by Henri Murison from Northern Powerhouse, Polly Barker from Hatch, and Chris Wanzala-Ryan from the National Infrastructure Commission, to explore how we can adapt our infrastructure to suit future ways of working and living.
September 01, 2021
Future infrastructure trends: the YPP meet ICE President Rachel Skinner
In this episode of infra[un]structured, Calum Askins and Brittany Harris of the National Infrastructure Commission's Young Professionals Panel are joined by Rachel Skinner, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, to explore Net Zero and Levelling Up. We discuss the new National Infrastructure Strategy, how the pandemic has shifted travel demand, and how we can still continue to develop new infrastructure as we head towards net zero. We also explore how we can use infrastructure to support levelling up across the whole of the UK.
March 29, 2021
Decarbonisation, Levelling Up, and a New YPP
What have sensors got to do with net zero? What does Levelling Up actually mean? And what has infrastructure got to do with any of this? Join us as we explore these questions in episode 12 of infra[un]structured, the first of a brand new series. In this episode, Charlotte Mitchell hands over the reins to a new cohort of the National Infrastructure Commission's Young Professionals Panel. Monica Laucas and Sam Cocking from the new YPP join Charlotte to introduce their cohort and the two themes that will guide their work: Decarbonisation and Levelling Up. Together, they explore some of the ways in which infrastructure relates to these themes and give examples from their own backgrounds. Sam introduces how sensing data could help to decarbonise infrastructure asset management, while Monica discusses the challenges of agreeing a precise definition for levelling up. Over the next couple of years, the YPP will be exploring these themes in more detail. Let us know which topics you would like to hear us discuss on infra[un]structured by getting in touch with us at To hear more about our other events, follow us on LinkedIn or sign up to our email newsletter. You can find more details about both of these at
March 01, 2021
Episode 11: Railway Stations
In episode eleven of infra[un]structured (recorded in early March), host Charlotte Mitchell of the National Infrastructure Commission's Young Professionals Panel talks all things railways and railway stations, and how these buildings, both large and small, shape places. She is joined by two guests: Anthony Dewar, Professional Head of Building and Architecture at Network Rail, who is also a member of the Commission's Design Group; and Mihir Benison, a Senior Planner at Arup, who sits on the Mayor of London's Young Professionals Panel. Together they discuss among other things why stations are sited where they are, how they contribute to shaping a 'place' (and vice versa), what determines the design of new railway buildings … and terrazzo floor tiles!
April 16, 2020
Episode 10: Carbon
In episode ten of infra[un]structured, regular host Charlotte from the National Infrastructure Commission's Young Professionals Panel - discusses the challenge of creating a low-carbon economy in the UK and what that means for infrastructure. She is joined by Commissioner Professor Sir Tim Besley, and fellow YPP member Jenn Holgate, who is a lawyer for energy company Vattenfall. They discuss what the Net Zero carbon emissions goal means in practice, how cities are leading the way in reducing their carbon impacts, and look at the challenge of installing low-carbon heating and what we can learn from past experiences.
March 03, 2020
Episode 9: Design
Embedding good design into major infrastructure projects creates an outcome that works well, looks good and enhances the quality of life for the people who use it. Host Charlotte Mitchell is joined by Chair of the National Infrastructure Design Group, Professor Sadie Morgan, and Sakthy Selvakumaran from the NIC's Young Professionals Panel. Together they discuss the new Design Principles for National Infrastructure, the importance of encouraging design innovation and how people-centred design helps connect citizens to where they live. You can find out more about the Design Principles here:
February 10, 2020
Episode 8: Cities
Effective infrastructure is crucial to creating well-performing, liveable cities that people want to live and work in. Host Charlotte Mitchell is joined by National Infrastructure Commissioner member Bridget Rosewell, who has previously served as Chief Economic Advisor to the Greater London Authority from 2002-2012, and Young Professionals Panel member Petra Marko, of Marko & Placemakers, for 30 minutes of chat on UK cities and their infrastructure. The panel considers diverse city topics such as cycling, 'blue' and 'green' infrastructure, resilience, getting in and out of cities, and how city high streets evolve.
January 14, 2020
Episode 7: Infrastructure and Housing
This episode considers the intersection of infrastructure, housing and design. Host Charlotte Mitchell is joined by Louise Wyman of Homes England, who is currently on secondment as Design Lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority, and Madeleine Kessler, an architect at Haptic Architects and member of the National Infrastructure Commission's Young Professionals Panel. Louise and Madeleine are also both members of the Commission's Design Group, chaired by Commissioner Professor Sadie Morgan. Charlotte, Louise and Madeleine consider a wide range of topics, including: why good infrastructure is crucial to overcoming local concerns about housing developments; the importance of an effective public realm to any new housing project; and the value of good design to creating infrastructure that enables liveable and sustainable communities.
December 23, 2019
Episode 6: Community Engagement
This episode considers the importance of engaging with communities around major new infrastructure projects. Joining host Charlotte Mitchell are Annette Jezierska, Co-Founder of The Future Fox, a technology company developing smart, sustainable and people-focused city infrastructure; and Phil Graham, Chief Executive of the National Infrastructure Commission. Phil has previously led the development of the government’s high speed rail strategy, as well as leading the team supporting Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission, and has therefore been involved in extensive programmes of community engagement. He and Annette share their perspectives on what makes for effective community engagement, how difficult and different choices can be communicated well, and why the views and feelings of local communities are a crucial element in shaping long-term strategic planning.
December 17, 2019
Episode 5: Tunnels
Infra[un]structured is back with a new episode that puts tunnels under the spotlight. This kind of infrastructure can transform the connectivity of communities and requires impressive feats of engineering. Charlotte is joined by Malcolm Orford, Deputy Head of Development at the Lower Thames Crossing. Having previously worked as the Deputy Delivery Manager for London's new super sewer, Thames Tideway, there isn't much this man doesn't know about tunnels. Also representing the Young Professionals Panel is Henry Metcalf, an engineer who has worked on a number of major transport projects.
October 23, 2019
Episode 4: Electric Vehicles
Today’s episode of Infra[un]structured is about everything electric vehicles. With the help of Dr Ben Potter, an Associate Professor of Energy Systems at the University of Reading, Charlotte looks at how the shift from petrol and diesel will help us to decarbonise. Joining them in the studio is Laura Hawkins, another member of the Young Professionals Panel and an Innovation Engineer at SSE Networks. The launch of this instalment comes as the National Infrastructure Commission calls on the Government to #ChargeUpBritain – by investing in a truly national and visible network of charging points for electric vehicles. You can find out more by following the link below.
July 02, 2019
Episode 3: Diversity
This instalment of Infra[un]structured focuses on diversity and inclusion. “Pale, male and stale” applies to few sectors more so than infrastructure. An industry that’s long been dominated by the usual suspects, there’s a mountain to climb to ensure it better reflects the society it serves. To explore how the world of infrastructure could benefit from greater diversity, Charlotte is joined by Casey Ryan, a transport specialist and trans advocate. Also representing the Young Professionals Panel is Dr Rosie Hughes, a social scientist who works for a design consultancy, examining how the delivery of major projects can be improved to meet the needs of all.
June 06, 2019
Episode 2: Data Visualisation
This second episode of Infra[un]structured uncovers everything you need to know about data visualisation. In the last two years alone, more data was created than in every year since the beginning of humanity combined. Charlotte draws upon the expertise of Vishal Kumar, a cultural data scientist, who uses open city data to understand the culture and science of cities. Also joining the discussion is Sakthy Selvakumaran, another member of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel and a civil engineer who is researching how satellite data can reduce the vulnerability of infrastructure within the urban environment.
April 26, 2019
Episode 1: Air Pollution
Welcome to the first episode of Infra[un]structured: the podcast that puts the systems that keep the world turning under the spotlight. With London bringing in its Ultra Low Emission Zone, we’re kicking off by looking at air pollution. Charlotte is joined by Annette Jezierska, a fellow member of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel and co-founder of The Future Fox, a tech startup specialising in planning for more people-friendly cities. Also in the studio is the brilliant Gary Raccuja – the winner of the 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize for his work on road user charging. Tune in to hear why we need to clean up our air and how we can go about doing it. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ You can find out more about Gary's winning entry, 'Miles Better,' here:
April 01, 2019