Construction towards the Millennium
Full project title: A study of major construction projects in the greater Bristol area to 2005
Duration: October 1996-July 1998
Funded by: European Union
Project lead: Jane Newton
The focus of the research was to evaluate the impact of the major construction projects that were planned and in progress in the Greater Bristol Area during the latter part of the 1990s.
The research involved developing tools and techniques for estimating construction output at levels of aggregation for which no published data exist. Similar tools were developed to estimate the resource content of individual construction projects and the geographical dimensions of their availability given the volume and structure of demand for construction and the existing construction supply systems in the Greater Bristol Area. The empirical material was used to examine a number of existing ‘models’ or theories of these classes of relationships, in particular the Turin model of the relationships between construction activity and the processes of economic and social development in ‘Third World’ countries.
These ‘models’ and theories were used to examine the contributions that construction activity might make to the processes of economic development and urban regeneration within a richer developed country at a point where construction demand was moving rapidly from a deep crisis to a volume that was increasingly difficult to sustain in the chosen urban area. The initial impetus for the project was a perceived need to ‘ring fence’ the business and employment opportunities generated by this programme of construction for the benefit of local people and the local economy.
Conversely, the research highlighted the problem as not one of a deficiency in local employment opportunities but one of a scarcity of resources within the local construction economy to accommodate the demands for a broad array of construction services.