• Almost a third of the UK population have little or no knowledge about infrastructure.
  • 78.9% of people without any knowledge of infrastructure say they never engage in projects.
  • The more knowledge an individual has, the more likely they are to engage with projects.

Copper Consultancy has today (21 July) released the first of a three-part series of reports exploring the UK population’s relationship with infrastructure. The first report, ‘Does infrastructure knowledge matter?’, explores the link between a person’s willingness to engage with projects and their knowledge of infrastructure and the built environment.

This hypothesis was tested with a comprehensive survey answered by a nationally representative sample of 4,004 people across the UK.

The survey data suggested that there is a strong correlation between infrastructure knowledge and willingness to engage in projects. Research showed that nearly 80% of people who felt that they had no knowledge about infrastructure had never engaged with a infrastructure project. For people who regularly read about infrastructure and felt they were knowledgeable about the industry, this number fell to 23.1%.

In addition, there are higher levels of reported knowledge and engagement in sub-sets of the UK population – people with higher incomes, those living in Greater London and males.

Nearly a third of respondents reported little to no knowledge of infrastructure, which suggests the views of a large portion of the population are currently underrepresented in key infrastructure projects across the country.

This demonstrates the need to better understand how people respond and interact with projects in different ways. Content can then be tailored to access wider audiences, which will result in the involvement of more people in the decision making process and ensure no groups are left behind – despite their knowledge of infrastructure (or any other variables that are linked to lower engagement).

Annabel John, Director of Strategic Communications and Creative at Copper Consultancy, commented on the release of the report:

“We are delighted to release the first of our three-part Attitudes series exploring how different people think and feel about infrastructure.

“Our research shows that infrastructure knowledge really does matter and as an industry we need to do more to engage with wider audiences using more accessible content.

“This will help make projects more representative of different views and ensure the benefits of infrastructure are felt by everyone.”

Copper Consultancy is constantly seeking to build an even deeper understanding of the infrastructure industry by investing time and resources to understand how people think and feel about the infrastructure that serves them.

Copper’s ‘Attitudes’ series of reports are designed to take a deep dive into the UK population to better understand audiences and help clients create the legacy that projects wish to leave behind.

You can read the full report here: Does infrastructure knowledge matter?