The World Economic Forum has shared an open letter from top engineering, construction, and development CEOs offering their support to local governments to help with their COVID-19 responses.
The open letter, signed by 11 CEOs, offers support through two main ways:
- Assisting governments, states, and cities with the expansion of hospital facilities by repurposing existing buildings and constructing new ones; and
- Supporting the Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments (CURA) initiative, whose objective is to construct and deploy mobile intensive care units (ICUs) housed in modular shipping containers.
“The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing an unprecedented human and economic impact in all nations around the world. The greatest toll is occurring in our cities, where health care systems are strained by shortages of hospital facilities, especially intensive care beds, to treat the overwhelming numbers of new patients. Government officials in many jurisdictions have started efforts to expand much needed hospital capacity, but the public sector cannot do this alone,” the letter said.
“As leaders of preeminent engineering, construction, and development companies in the infrastructure and real estate sectors, we are well placed to lend our expertise and resources, in a coordinated manner, to assist in the immediate expansion of hospital capacity and post-crisis recovery to enhance the health and wellness of our built environment. Throughout history, advances in urban planning and infrastructure have had a profound effect on public health. The true value of our work is not limited to the built environment but is instead rooted in the health and resilience of the people and communities that inhabit our cities. This is our call to action,” the letter said.
“Our businesses have already begun mobilizing in selected countries, states, and cities, and we are ready to combine our resources with your political leadership to ensure that all communities are prepared to provide an adequate response to this rapidly changing crisis. By working together, we can embark on a coordinated effort to best utilize public and private sector resources in order to contain COVID-19.”
Among the signatories is Steve Demetriou, CEO of Jacobs Engineering Group, Coen van Oostrom, founder of EDGE Technologies/OVG Real Estate, John Beck, chairman of Aecon Group Inc., and Ian L. Edwards, president of SNC-Lavalin.