Socially responsible design

The ‘Societal design’ principle means that engineers think about how a project’s effects on prosperity could be enhanced. This principle is centred on the creation of (additional) societal benefits. It will help in achieving more of the intended design objectives.

This principle encourages consideration of other measures besides just technical ones. The question ‘How can I increase the prosperity effects of my project?’ is central to this principle. This can be accomplished by technical measures, behavioural measures, or measures aimed at people’s socio-economic circumstances, or a combination of all three. Changing the socio-economic circumstances of local residents can help them benefit from the project. Another example is putting up a traffic sign to reduce the speed limit, so that it is no longer necessary to construct an additional traffic lane. The speed restriction results in behavioural changes, which in turn can help reduce traffic congestion.

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