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This is a case study report on the upgrade project of a pedestrian crossing and addresses related issues by GC. GC was a trainee and an engineering student. The case study was conducted and reported in June 2009, after the project had taken two years and seven months to complete. This paper covers the activities that took place during the internship by first identifying whoever was involved in it. Further covered in the report are the ways through which the trainee demonstrated his skills on social corporate responsibility and the ethical implications that come with the upgrading program.
The ability to execute corporate social responsibility by the author represents the roles of other engineering students in matters of social corporate. The most important elements of the case study are also fully captured in the paper. Furthermore, the paper explores the involvement of teamwork in the project while, at the same time, it identifies the aspects of creativity and innovation that played a part during the implementation of the project. The overall outcomes of the project included changes that pertain to the practices of the council and other operational changes that occurred after the completion of the project. The efforts employed by the staff that was involved in the project are mentioned well throughout as they worth the appreciation.
This project was an internship placement and was done by Gu at the Ku-ring-gai, which is a local government agency. GU was a trainee design and project engineer. It took him two years and seven months to complete the project. The structure of the local government council was complex in the sense that it had five hundred workers and is located about eighty-four kilometers to the North of Sydney. With one hundred and eight thousand people, this population is contained in nine villages. The article clearly explains that operationally the council is subdivided into five departments, namely strategy and development, civil, operations and corporate, community and development, and regulation.
The departments do not act competitively against each other; instead, they correlate to give the residents of Ku-ring-gai the best services they deserve. The role of the author of the article was confined to the operations department. This department is charged with the responsibility of developing new infrastructure and maintaining the assets. The operations of the trainee were centered on the provision of support services, investigating and designing small civil works. The areas of operations included access design, including compliance to DDA and NCC, design and construction of stormwater drainage, road design, and construction, including walkways and landscaping, town center design, including urban design and stakeholder management, engineering, and construction advice to other Council sections including Traffic, development and Open Spaces and upgrading of Council-wide design standards including pits, driveway profiles, and kerb ramps. The author explains that the original design brief and in response to a fatal accident at the existing pedestrian crossing. The project aimed to upgrade the crossing to some Roads and Maritime Services and pedestrian crossing standards.
The author took the time to investigate the issues that he was supposed to work on. By interrogating the Ku-ring-gai Council database and interviewing residents and other stakeholders, he noted several issues to be factored in the process of upgrading the pedestrian crossing. This was a new practice at the council. The success of the all-inclusive approach, the method was adopted by his colleagues at the site. The location of the site comprises the intersection of a variety of community activities. Besides the café and newsagent, there are several bus stops, a primary access point to Gordon Station, and a pick-up and drop-off point for commuters traveling to and from Gordon by car.
All the directions are shown on the maps in the article Also, the area is surrounded by several apartment buildings and houses. As a result of this, many community interfaces pinpointed by GU are types that would much affect the thousands of people if any new designs are introduced, including residents, who use the space daily. These were the reasons behind the trainee deciding to undertake prior caution during the investigation phase that it would be unethical to execute a design without significant alignment of the engineering design criteria against the needs of the community.
The investigations turned out to be crucial as the writer discovered there were conflicting interests between the residents, shopkeepers, and the original project designers. In his clear mind, the participation of the locals would prove to be valuable towards the success of the project. In doing this, he decided to redesign the project so that neither the community residents nor the shopkeepers would be adversely affected but at the same time making sure that the project becomes a success at the end. While thinking about the new design, he put in mind the effects the project would have on the environment. The health and safety measures were also put into consideration.
Among them, damage to utilities such at Telstra communication lines and high voltage power cables, injury or fatality as a result of the new design, inadequate drainage that is the direction of part of the storm-water runoff was changed, buses and other large vehicles not being able to turn safely through the intersection, budget overruns and prefabricated designs such as the stainless steel railing not fitting together on site. The clear program set out at the beginning by the author of the article was the secret behind the success of the project. He drafted a proper plan that was followed and eventually the project was more beneficial to the residents of the government local council than they had expected.
GU was able to use his creative abilities to integrate all the confirmed aspects of the project design into one unified design. The most important aspects he was able to integrate included improvement to the cafe seating area and safety, improved pedestrian access and, thoroughfare, improved stormwater drainage, pedestrian safety, drivers’ safety, improvements to parking facilities and safety, and upgrade of the street and kerb-side signage. The identification of these places was strategic because they were areas that were relevant to the residents of the local council. This was important because his project was easily welcome and accepted by the locals. Areas that were modified included the Council’s plan to upgrade the Gordon Station Area that had not included the area the writer had planned to upgrade as it was not in the development budget.
By integrating an upgrade of the area surrounding the pedestrian crossing on Werona Avenue, the writer was able to accomplish an elucidation that not only satisfied the design brief but was also in line with Council development objectives for the area. To achieve a successful outcome, the author resorted to having open communication and transparently with, and between, all stakeholders. He quotes that he liaised with the local bus companies to ensure road access for buses during construction and that the new design would not impact the public’s safety by ensuring that buses could maneuver as required during and after construction.
Corporate social responsibility
GU consulted a lot during the whole process of his project. This was an important element that most of the colleagues came to adapt as they appreciated their effectiveness. The shopkeepers were involved in the many processes that included redesigning the project to cater to their interests. In this case, it is good to note that the initial designers of the project never took into consideration the lives and interests of the residents. By engaging the people who reside in the place is itself a corporate responsibility as the author went beyond what his profession would teach. The other aspect of corporate social responsibility was clear when the author who is an engineer by profession took the initiative to put mechanisms in place to protect the environment during project implementation. This included having proper drainage systems in place. It is imperative to note that areas affected included a cafeteria where a lot of water is used. This means that taking care of the drainage systems is giving the lives of the people using the cafe’s utmost priority. The drainage would also be useful in eliminating situations of flooding along the pedestrians’ paths.
Summary of the outcomes
The project was a success. The trainee combined his ethical norms along with his professional knowledge to deliver well-designed projects to the residents of Ku-ring-gai. Through appropriate consultation with all stakeholders and working with the support of the Council, the author developed and constructed successful designs that met the needs of the community. Ethically, the intersection had to be upgraded to ensure safety for the users and to protect the interests of the privately-owned infrastructure that was in place. In making sure that the design was effective and the community felt a level of ownership, he took a good approach and eventual design solution took into account the needs of the local community. He succeeded in changing the system that engineers used to operate by introducing the all-inclusive systems that were a rare case.
The author became a role model for his colleagues. He helped improve modified include the Council’s plan to upgrade the Gordon Station Area that had not included the area the writer had planned to upgrade as it was not in the development budget. By integrating an upgrade of the area surrounding the pedestrian crossing on Werona Avenue, the writer was able to accomplish an elucidation that not only satisfied the design brief but was also in line with Council development objectives for the area. Looking at the pictures posted by the writer, his work was satisfactory and we could easily pass that the author left his people back in the local government council a satisfied lot. All-in-all, GU left the local council as a trainee who felt at peace with all the achievements he had reached after two years and seven months.