Civil engineering is everywhere, impacting all people and societies. Today’s engineers are called to build and design infrastructure for the increasingly diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities of tomorrow. In ASCE’s new video series, DEI Best Practices, engineers discuss the relationship between DEI and the civil engineering profession. DEI Best Practices is brought to you by funding from the United Engineering Foundation.

Civil engineers are problem-solvers who improve our quality of life through the infrastructure they create. For civil engineering solutions to best serve society, they need to embody the various perspectives that are represented throughout the diverse makeup of our communities. One way to ensure our systems achieve this is through universal design.

The principles of universal design, established by architect Ronald Mace in collaboration with other researchers, guide the evaluation of existing designs and the design process. They educate and inform civil engineers and systems users about more inclusive design features, such as tactile paving – truncated domes often found at the end of a sidewalk before entering a crosswalk, which serve as detectible warnings for the visually impaired.

Part two of this series features interviews with leading scholars and engineers who discuss how the principles of universal design are relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion.