Speaking of Design Ep. 19: Translating Critical Communications in NYC

Hand washing and sanitizing

When construction comes to your street for a water main replacement, the technical side is only half the challenge. On this episode of Speaking of Design, we’ll meet the people responsible for communicating with residents during construction in New York City. Their work took on added significance during COVID-19, as they initiated a multilanguage public outreach plan for a predominantly Chinese-speaking community.


Featured on this Episode

Steve Scaglione
Steve Scaglione

Steve Scaglione understands how important communication is to a successful team. As a construction services manager in our Manhattan office, he leads teams who work with contractors to make sure construction matches the design, meets the budget and schedule, and follows safety and quality standards. His favorite part of his job is knowing how his work benefits society — and being able to stroll around New York City and see bridges, subway tunnels and wastewater treatment plants his team that his team played a part in building. 

Paul Tso
Paul Tso

Paul Tso enjoys being on a job site and seeing a design evolve from paper plans into a built structure. As a resident engineer in our Manhattan office, his civil engineering background helps him speak the language of both designers and contractors as he provides project coordination, management and oversight. On the water main replacement project described in this episode, Paul and his wife, Agnes, provided the translation needed to communicate with Chinese-speaking residents in Brooklyn.

Carol Nurse is a community construction liaison with CES Consultants, Inc. Her role often includes working with the New York City Department of Design and Construction to help the resident engineer address any community issues and concerns about disruption to businesses and residential communities caused by construction. “It makes me feel like it's worth doing this job,” Carol said. “Because if someone comes into my neighborhood, I would want someone to be able to explain to me why they're doing what they're doing.”

Credits: Produced by Danny Sullivan and John Tourek. Thanks to Brock Wendlandt.