Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on January 27, 2023
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on February 15, 2023
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 22, 2023


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports aesthetic quality in engineering design. As aesthetics are integral to good engineering design and sustainability, the cost of aesthetic quality should also be integral to design and construction budgeting. Furthermore, ASCE supports activities to: 

  • Review and evaluate the aesthetic impact of the design and planning of infrastructure. 
  • To define and identify aesthetic considerations and to develop and advance these considerations in the planning of engineering projects. 
  • To establish and maintain contact with architectural and other engineering groups, urban planners, industrial engineers, civil groups, and government agencies. 
  • Encourage the total design concept of planning and engineering and advance the cause of leadership of civil engineers in integrated teams.


An engineering design can enhance or detract from the environment by virtue of the quality of its visual characteristics. The budget for aesthetic features is not always included in the design, construction, and maintenance of the built environment. 


Aesthetic harmony should exist between civil engineering designs and the environment within which these designs are constructed. The environment is both natural and built, and its aesthetic qualities should be preserved and enhanced by design, enhancing the sustainability of the built environment. Visual quality and aesthetics should be adequately funded throughout the life cycle of a project. Aesthetic quality can be achieved in ways that maintain or enhance functional quality.

This policy has worldwide application
ASCE Policy Statement 117
First Approved in 1969