The Bartlett


Future Trends with Zein Khraizat

8 February 2021

Future Trends is a series of interviews with researchers at The Bartlett to hear their take on future trends and developments for the built environment in 2021.

Man with short dark hair and beard wearing a suit and tie on a royal blue background with text that reads: Future Trends in the Built Environment

This week, we spoke to researchers across The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment to find out their predictions for future developments and trends in 2021.

Today we spoke to Zein Khraizat, Doctoral Researcher at the UCL Institute of Sustainable Resources. Zein is a dynamic and motivated environmental engineer with five years of experience in the engineering design industry, leveraging his environmental economics background and engineering experience to formulate and assess the sustainability transitions in the fragile regions of the world. His current interests include climate change impacts on water resources and sustainable economics.

Which trend(s) do you see developing in your area or discipline?

The world needs to increase the share of investments in the network of infrastructure facilities to meet up with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDGs). This will require grand investments from governments around the world to build new infrastructure facilities, in addition to renewing its decaying existing ones. In the developing regions of the world, this will imply special financing arrangements between governments and major investors/lenders.

In the water management field, an increase in investments in water infrastructure facilities to first, increase the proportion of people with an access to safe drinking water; second, treating wastewater before discharging it back to the environment; and third, building unconventional sources of water (e.g., desalnitation plants) to increase the water supply specifically in the water-scarce regions of the world. This will also require more resilient policies (e.g., Water pricing) to internalize the externalities to push to a more sustainable use of water while ensuring an equal to all the classes of the society.

What you predict to become a focus in the coming year?

Plans of re-thinking and reforming our current consumption trends in addition to promoting health and safety for a better quality of life had already begun long before COVID-19 pandemic.

The global pandemic, however, has revealed various vulnerabilities on several economic, and social levels. Many climate scientists believe that the current pandemic had provided a glimpse of climate change's magnitude and ubiquity. It is also safe to say that more people are getting better informed about the same wasteful lifestyle. This will enable wealthy investors to think out of this unsustainable bubble to the larger biosphere. Therefore, I would expect more investments in sustainable ventures, opening up the opportunity for environmental reparation and sustainable business models.

View Zein's profile