Ramboll conducts water climate mitigation study for New York

15 April 2016 Consultancy.uk

Changes to global climate change may create considerable headache for cities as infrastructure ceases to cope with new weather patterns. In a bid to create a sustainable water resources plan, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection has hired Ramboll to conduct a study into the cities' storm water system in relation to changes in climate – which, among others, will seek to combine socio-economic aspects with blue-green infrastructure.

The effect of climate change on weather has the potential to create considerable unpredictability in the long term. Companies and governments are scrambling to create mitigation programmes that protect key assets, techniques include blue-green infrastructure.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provides a range of key services to the city of New York, including supplying water to the city’s residence, managing toxic site remediation, enforcing the city’s air and noise codes, collecting water and sewer bills, as well as running water conservation programmes.

It was recently announced that the DEP has hired Ramboll to develop a study into best practices to shore up the city against climate threats as well as creating a more sustainable water cycle. The study is titled 'Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study – Best Practices for Managing Stormwater in a Changing Climate'. 

The study will seek to identify the costs and benefits of bringing together the phenomenon of heavy rainfall into wider planning and future investments for climate adaptions within the city. The study will leverage the firm’s experience in combining socio-economic planning with climate mitigation solutions – in a bid to create stakeholder wide engagement in projects that improve not merely sustainability and resilience to climate changes, but also economic and social benefits to communities.

Jonathan Leonardsen, Consultant at Ramboll remarks that: “If a climate adaption project takes into account the recreational value, and by this the likely increase in real estate prices for instance, a bigger coalition can be formed. So by engaging numerous stakeholders and estimate their return on investment, cities will not only broaden the span of project possibilities but equally create economic leverage, buy-in and co-ownership."

Christian Nyerup Nielsen, Leader at Ramboll’s Climate Adaptation and Flood-Risk Management practice, says "This is a very exciting project where we combine our technical and socio-economic competences in order to support one of the world's most amazing cities with their important efforts on climate adaptation and blue-green infrastructure.”

Ramboll was recently also hired by the city of Skellefteå, in Sweden, for their water expertise, as chief consultant for the improvement of its water treatment plan.


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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.