A National Health Service team took just nine days to transform the ExCeL exhibit hall in London, England into a massive emergency medical facility dedicated to treating COVID-19 patients. The Nightingale Hospital opened with 500 beds on 3 April, with space to scale up to 4,000 beds as needed. The project also developed an instruction manual that captured lessons learned, providing a template for other hospitals built to treat coronavirus patients.
9th Most Influential Project of 2020
The outbreak of wildfires in Australia consumed almost half of Kangaroo Island in January. After flames destroyed homes, farms and animal habitats, teams swooped in to rescue the area’s ecosystem. South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management collaborated with the Australian army’s Joint Task Force, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ZoosSA and local veterinarians to assess, triage and treat animals including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and cockatoos.
11th Most Influential Project of 2020
Designed to be the “tallest, largest and smartest” zero-energy government building in the world by sponsor Dubai Energy and Water Authority, this AED$1 billion project, launched late last year, pierces the Dubai skyline like a glass-and-steel sail—a visual declaration that UAE’s largest city is a trailblazer of sustainability and innovation.
47th Most Influential Project of 2020
The U.K. rail project will connect up to 30 million people by linking London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. It received the green light from Prime Minister Boris Johnson in February—despite mounting opposition from environmental groups and critics that the estimated £100 billion budget has ballooned. In response, Johnson appointed a full-time government minister to oversee the project, which is scheduled to complete its first phase by 2033.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called it “Europe’s man on the moon moment.” With an ambitious goal to be the world’s first climate-neutral continent, the European Union in December 2019 unveiled a comprehensive roadmap of actions required across economic sectors. Leaders also offered financial and technical assistance to those most disrupted by the move to a green economy, pledging to mobilize at least €100 billion from 2021 to 2027.
The first U.S. digital roll call of the country’s 330 million residents included online surveys and field workers recording data via smartphones. The goal is to complete a more inclusive and efficient headcount—which will determine how US$800 billion in federal funds will be distributed.
After a gunman killed 51 people in a March 2019 attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the country’s Parliament approved a plan to ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons. During a six-month, US$102.2 million buyback project that ended in December, officials collected 56,250 firearms and 194,000 gun parts. The next phase: building a gun register and tightening the country’s licensing system.
With the 420-megawatt plant, Électricité de France and the World Bank are helping Cameroon meet its goal of increasing electricity access to 88 percent of its citizens in electrified areas by 2022. The €1.2 billion clean energy facility, which moved into the final phase of construction in July and is expected to be operational by 2023, will boost Cameroon’s power generation capacity by 30 percent and save the central African country US$100 million annually.
Divorce can be messy. And costly. And put a burden on courts. So in June Australia’s National Legal Aid introduced a new online tool, called Amica, that uses AI to help couples navigate a legal separation. The AU$3 million project uses data points like a couple’s circumstances, agreements reached by families in similar situations, and past court cases to suggest how couples could divide their assets and work out parenting arrangements.
A simple “thanks” can speak volumes. But as with most things in Dubai, there was nothing simple about the government’s message of gratitude to those on the front lines of battling the coronavirus. A dramatic video showed emergency vehicles and drones converging to beam messages of support and thanks onto the emirate’s major landmarks. The two-minute video was created by Brand Dubai, Arab Media Group’s Done Events and AO Drones, with support from government agencies.