Archaeology, architecture and art for WTC 2019 11 Apr 2019

TunnelTalk Reporting

Italy is ranked first in Europe and second in the world for the overall length of its road and railway tunnels with more than 2,100km, and it has generated a total revenue of €15 billion from tunnel construction commissions abroad.

Mostra D’Olremare Conference Centre
Mostra D’Olremare Conference Centre

This year the Italian Tunnelling Society will play host to WTC 2019, welcoming delegates to Naples on 3-9 May to explore the theme of Tunnels and Underground Cities: Engineering and Innovation meet Archaeology, Architecture and Art. It will be the third Italian city to host the event, after Florence in 1986 and Milan in 2001.

Over 150 speakers and 2,000 participants are expected from every part of the world to convene at the Mostra D’Olremare Conference Centre which boasts gardens, pavilions, a theatre and multifunctional meeting rooms. The Congress will also play host to the 45th General Assembly of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA – AITES).

The gala dinner is scheduled for the evening of 8 May at the Museo Nazionale Ferroviario in Pietrarsa, which preserves the history of Italian railroads and guests will be taken to the dinner on the historic train of the Italian Ferrovie dello Stato, which will run along the route of the first Italian railway line, between Naples and Portici, inaugurated in 1839.

Underground art in Naples Metro
Underground art in Naples Metro

In addition to the traditional topics of design and construction of underground works, focusing on tunnelling, engineering and innovation, the Italian hosts will offer some unusual topics such as history (Archeology), design (Architecture) and genius & creativity (Art).

The Neapolitan area is home to underground works that date back to the Roman period, while at the same time, being an innovative and future-oriented city. WTC delegates will be able to witness Italian tunnelling from the Roman period through to the newest award winning metro station with its featured underground art.

Professionals and experts will share best practices and the most recent innovations, with the aim of explaining how infrastructure can offer the opportunity to provide greater functionality for spaces like smart cities while seeking a balance with the environment and harmony with the cultures of the past. They will discuss utilizing areas available underground, making them more interesting from an aesthetic point of view and improving their potential for use.

Experts will point to Paris, Stockholm, New York, Singapore, Shanghai and Sydney who are leading the way. The reliance on underground space to build cities resilient to climate change is also under discussion.

The programme for the WTC 2019 includes the new Triple-A sessions – Archaeology, Architecture and Art, and a special visit has been planned to see the Tunnel Borbonico, the ancient underground tunnel commissioned in 1853 and just recently restored. The tour is organized in collaboration with ITACUS, one of the four permanent committees of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA-AITES).

Tunnel Borbonico, recently restored from 1853
Tunnel Borbonico, recently restored from 1853

Sessions will include

  • Archaeology, Architecture and Art in underground construction
  • Environment sustainability in underground construction
  • Geological and geotechnical knowledge and requirements for project implementation
  • Ground improvement in underground constructions
  • Innovation in underground engineering, materials and equipment
  • Long and deep tunnels
  • Public communication and awareness
  • Risk management, contracts and financial aspects
  • Safety in underground construction
  • Strategic use of underground space for resilient cities
  • Urban tunnels

Technical tours and site visits will take place on May 9th, offering the opportunity to visit some of the most important construction sites currently open in Italy. There are four possible destinations: the Metropolitana di Napoli, Lines 1 and 6, the Municipio Station and the Capodichino headquarters; the Naples-Bari high-speed railway line; the Metropolitana di Roma, Line C, from the Fori Imperiali to the San Giovanni Station; the Brenner Base Tunnel, the longest railway tunnel in the world.

Brenner Base Tunnel under construction
Brenner Base Tunnel under construction

WTC 2019 Naples will be an opportunity to organize special educational sessions. A number of WTC sessions will be broadcast to universities and cultural associations, expanding the audience that can benefit from the knowledge shared by international experts.

In 2020 the WTC will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and in 2021 Copenhagen, Denmark will be the host.

TunnelTalk will be present at the 2019 conference and we look forward to seeing you there.

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