Update on strategic progress in Urbanisation

14 October 2021

Sustainable urbanisation: Balancing design and function to create shared value

RPS, a leading multi-sector global professional services firm, is pleased to provide an update on its progress in relation to one of the Group's core thematics, urbanisation. RPS continues to benefit from strong structural growth drivers in the markets it serves, with enduring thematics that underpin its business and generate client demand for its services and skills.

Global megatrends are rapidly changing demographic patterns and accelerating rates of urbanisation. With most of the world’s population living in urban areas, striking a balance between social, environmental, and commercial needs is one of the biggest challenges in the design and development of the built environment.

RPS is a leading consultancy in the urbanisation space, advising private and public sector clients in markets around the world. We work with our clients to address the complex balance between design and function and find optimal solutions for sustainable urbanisation, creating shared value. This has been demonstrated in several recent successes in some of our sectors that serve transport infrastructure and sustainable design and development.

Improving connectivity – integrated transport infrastructure

In North America, RPS has been working on projects focused on urban mobility including:

  • The Texas Department of Transportation, State Highway 99 project which seeks to address the challenges of a rapidly expanding population in the west Houston metro area by improving mobility and reducing congestion. RPS has been appointed as the prime provider for managing and developing improvements to State Highway 99. This estimated US$80m construction project includes the design of roadway, interchanges, and drainage improvements to this major transportation facility.
  • RPS is now working on its fifth consecutive on-call design, permitting and field engineering services contract with The City of Austin Special Projects Division, supporting the design, permitting and construction phase services, to provide accessible, safe routes to schools, parks, and community facilities.  These improvements will improve regional air and water quality by expanding the use of bike lanes, urban trails, and rain gardens.

In Australia Asia Pacific, RPS has secured lead roles on two key infrastructure programs:

  • RPS has been engaged by Australian Rail Track Corporation to assist with the implementation of two design and construction contracts and transition into project delivery. RPS is bringing the latest procurement knowledge to alleviate constraints and increase the capacity of Sydney’s freight rail network to meet existing and future demands. 
  • With an extra 1.2 million people estimated to be living in South East Queensland by 2036 and the Olympics and Paralympics due to be hosted there in 2032, a 20-year doubling of train services in the region is required. RPS has been appointed to deliver the detailed business case to Australian and Queensland governments and provide project leadership in readiness of the market and procurement phase.

Supporting clients’ sustainable design and development ambitions

RPS’ Consulting UK & Ireland segment continues to play an integral role in major sustainable design and development projects:

  • In September 2021, Gatwick Airport’s Northern Runway project reached a key milestone with the launch of the public consultation. RPS led the team producing the Preliminary Environmental Report for the project, which aims to bring Gatwick Airport’s Northern Runway into regular use. With passenger numbers increasing, RPS is part of the team working on delivering new global connections in a low impact way.
  • In October 2021, Crown Commercial Service awarded RPS a place on a prominent, public sector, four-year £150 million urban regeneration framework. This moves RPS to a tier-1 supplier of multi-disciplinary construction consultancy services to central government departments and UK public sector bodies. The award positions RPS in a supply chain that will allow us to continue to grow public sector market share through involvement in a wide range of building and civil engineering regeneration projects throughout the UK.

John Douglas, Chief Executive of RPS, commented:

“RPS has been at the forefront of environmental planning and design for over 50 years. With sustainable urbanisation now a global focus and priority, RPS has an important role to play in designing solutions that support our clients to make better choices. The examples of our work shared today are the tip of the iceberg, and I am incredibly proud of the key role that RPS is playing in creating sustainable shared value in the communities we serve. These projects, and many more like them, play a real part in enhancing productivity, sustainability, and liveability of cities now and for the future.”

RPS’ next scheduled update will be publication of the Group’s Q3-2021 Trading Update on Wednesday, 27 October 2021, followed by a virtual Capital Markets Event for investors and analysts on Tuesday, 2 November 2021. To register for the RPS virtual Capital Markets Event 2021, please click here and follow a simple registration process. 


For further information:

John Douglas, Chief Executive Tel: +44 (0) 1235 863 206
Judith Cottrell, Group Finance Director www.rpsgroup.com


Media enquiries:

Henry Harrison-Topham / Chris Lane / Tilly Abraham Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
[email protected] www.buchanan.uk.com



Notes to Editors

Founded in 1970, RPS is a leading global professional services firm with proven ESG credentials. With c.5,000 consultants and service providers and having operated in 125 countries across six continents - RPS defines, designs, and manages projects that create shared value for a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world.

Our three thematics – natural resources, urbanisation, and sustainability – are specifically targeted to growth markets where RPS delivers a broad range of services in six sectors:  property, energy, transport, water, defence and government services and resources.  Services provided across RPS' six sectors cover twelve service clusters: project and program management, design and development, water services, environment, advisory and management consulting, exploration and development, planning and approvals, health, safety and risk, oceans and coastal, laboratories, training and communications, creative and digital services.

RPS stands out for its clients by using technology enabled consulting, combined with deep expertise, to solve problems that matter, making them easy to understand.  Making complex easy.

RPS’ London Stock Exchange ticker is RPS.L.  For further information, please visit www.rpsgroup.com