Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on January 20, 2022
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on March 4, 2022
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 22, 2022
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports the involvement of individual citizens and coalitions in legislative and regulatory decision making processes involving infrastructure projects, programs, and policies. ASCE encourages appropriate public involvement to inform, educate, and engage the public regarding proposed policies, plans, designs, projects, and programs.
Civil engineers are encouraged to communicate with the public to:
- Allow for meaningful dialogue.
- Improve the decision-making process through collaboration.
- Be viewed as a trusted resource to and partner with the public.
Civil engineers are encouraged to participate in and seek appropriate public involvement through:
- Public meetings, presentations, social media, and individual dialogue about project alternatives.
- Disclosure and discussions of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of decisions made with the affected communities.
- Active participation in elected or appointed legislative or regulatory bodies of government.
Civil engineers are charged with protecting and enhancing public health, safety, and welfare through infrastructure projects, programs, and policies. Transparency and public awareness need to be enhanced regarding long-term effects of infrastructure on the health, safety, and welfare. They are necessary for informed and equitable decision-making.
Civil engineers have a responsibility to protect and enhance public health, safety, and welfare. The analysis of costs, benefits, and impacts of proposed infrastructure projects, programs, and policies is essential as embodied by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision™ process. Transparency and communication of these analyses to the general public will assist public officials in making better-informed decisions on infrastructure and projects. Public involvement in the decision-making process for infrastructure allows diverse viewpoints to be considered and local knowledge to be incorporated. Moreover, such public involvement can facilitate project acceptance and implementation, consideration of the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), and project use by the community. Civil engineers have the opportunity to influence project outcomes. Civil engineers can use the principles of Envision.
This policy has worldwide application
ASCE Policy Statement 139
First Approved pre-1974