50 projects for a better future – celebrating five decades of projects making a difference

50 projects for a better future - celebrating five decades of projects making a difference

The 50 most inspiring projects from the past 50 years have been revealed by the Association for Project Management (APM), the chartered membership organisation for the project profession – in celebration of its 50th anniversary.  Entitled ’50 Projects for a Better Future’, the list features iconic projects from around the globe and across the fields of construction and engineering, technology, healthcare, sports and nature, arts and media.

More than 600 projects were nominated for inclusion in the list by a panel made up of APM members, board members and industry experts. Projects were selected based on the transformative impact they have had on society, the economy and environment since their launch within the past 50 years.

Canary Wharf, the Channel Tunnel, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Angel of the North, the Eden Project, Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, Øresund Bridge, Wikipedia, the World Wide Web, the UK Covid-19 vaccine rollout, In vitro fertilisation (IVF), the Hubble Space Telescope, the Large Hadron Collider and Mars Perseverance Rover all make it onto the list. 

The full list including project descriptions is available at apm.org.uk/50projects

Professor Adam Boddison, Chief Executive of APM, says: “To mark our 50th anniversary we wanted to celebrate and recognise the impact that projects have had on the world, and the important role that project professionals play in embracing change and opportunity. The 50 projects on this list all have their own legacy in the impact they have had on society, the economy and environment, as well as acting as a catalyst for other projects which followed and will follow them in the future.”

The 50 projects by sector: 

Construction and Engineering:

  • Hong Kong International Airport – 1998
  • The Channel Tunnel – 1994
  • The Øresund Bridge – (Sweden/Denmark) – 2000
  • Canary Wharf – London – 1991
  • The Thames Barrier – London – 1984
  • The Falkirk Wheel – Scotland – 2002
  • Maeslant Barrier (Netherlands) – 1997
  • Unisphere (United States) – 2018
  • Madrid Metro Extension – 1995-2003
  • The Peace Bridge (Northern Ireland) – 2011

Sports, Media and Arts:

  • Angel of the North – 1998
  • Guggenheim Bilbao Museum – 1997
  • BBC Children in Need – 1980
  • Hamiliton – 2015
  • Tate Modern – 1994
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup – 2019
  • London Olympic and Paralympic Games – 2012
  • Parkrun – 2004
  • Forest Green Rovers – 2010

Healthcare and Education:

  • HIV antiretroviral therapy – Mid 1990s
  • EPS Electronic Prescribing Service – 2013
  • Global Polio Eradication – 1988
  • HPV Vaccination – 2008
  • Human Genome Project – 1990-2003
  • In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) – 1978 (first IVF baby born)
  • Tackling Poverty in Renfrewshire Programme – 2014
  • Vaccine taskforce & development – 2020
  • Educating girls in the Swat Valley – 2013
  • Netherlands cycling revolution – 1970s
  • Nepal earthquake response – 2015

Science and Nature:

  • International Space Station – 1998
  • Howdon and Bran Sands Gas to Grid plants – 2012
  • Hubble Space Telescope – 1990
  • Kielder Reservoir – 1982
  • Large Hadron Collider – 2008
  • The Mars Perseverance Rover – 2020
  • Svalbard Global Seed Vault  – 2008
  • The Eden Project – 2001
  • Cloning of Dolly the Sheep – 1996
  • The Voyager spacecraft programme – 1977

Technology:

  • Amager Bakke – 2017
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) – 1973
  • The PACUNAM Lidar Initiative (discovery of Mayan cities) – 2016
  • Landsat – 1972
  • Raising the Mary Rose – 1982
  • The Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) – 2003
  • The Eurofighter Typhoon – 1983
  • Wikipedia – 2001
  • World Wide Web – 1989
  • SWIFT banking service – 1977

To see the full list of APMs ’50 Projects for a Better Future’ visit apm.org.uk/50projects

50 projects for a better future - celebrating five decades of projects making a difference
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50 projects for a better future - celebrating five decades of projects making a difference
BDC July 2022 issue - 294

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