Involving our community in Copenhagen
Performing large-scale construction operations in densely populated urban areas raises many challenges, many of a technical nature, but it is also paramount to avoid disrupting the lives of people living and working near the construction sites, and to keep site noise and traffic to a minimum.
The best way to enable people to understand what our work signifies – in terms of the added value implied by bespoke construction solutions and contributions to the improvement of the territory – is to open the doors of the construction sites to the public. This is what we have done in Copenhagen, where we are constructing 15 kilometres of dual tunnel and 17 underground metro stations in the city centre (Cityringen project). Here we have organised a series of information campaigns to involve local communities, inviting them on tours of the worksites, to explain the technologies applied and the work in progress.
From April to October 2014 we held a six-month period of Open Site Days, in which we invited neighbours, communities, and the general public to enter our worksites and meet the people who are actually working behind those fences, to provide a hands-on experience of what is happening at our worksites and around the city.
We also arranged a special Open Site Day in our storage area located near the harbour, to display two of our TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machine) to the public. In this occasion, over 6,000 people came to admire this massive machinery.
In addition, on October 10 during the big event of Copenhagen's annual Culture Night (Kulturnatten), which heralds the autumn recess and offers children and adults hundreds of cultural events in a single night, our central worksites in the city were opened to the public.
In the course of the year we held two ad hoc neighbourhoods meetings in special worksites where residents had been affected by our daily activities. Special neighbourhood meetings of this kind are usually arranged in league with the client, in order to have a better communication with the local community, and to encourage a face-to-face dialogue with those concerned.
Again in tandem with clients, our worksites also welcome visits from educational and professional organisations. As main Contractor, in 2014 we hosted more than 10 visits from schools, universities, and professional delegations from different parts of Europe interested in engineering and geotechnical projects.
We also arranged a special event in December 2014 focused on Salini Impregilo as a central player in Denmark and as the leading company in the joint venture for the realisation of the Cityringen metro system in Copenhagen, an event that saw a sizeable flow of curious citizens to our information stand.
These initiatives always get an excellent response and participants are notably enthusiastic, and their success is further proof that opening our sites and allowing people to see for themselves what we do is the best way to explain all the noise and why we take up space while Cityringen is under construction.
But our communications strategy comprises other means for maintaining close contact with our communities. In Copenhagen for example we have implemented a web-based messaging system that alerts neighbours by text to their mobile phones about unexpected noise and traffic linked to our operations. In addition, citizens are provided with a specific email address for any complaints, enabling us to promptly take steps to resolve such issues.