The Role of Underground Space in Future Sustainable Cities

Press Releases

Countdown is on for the world tunnel congress in dubai


“It is significant that the WTC is organized for the first time in the Middle East. The survey of the global underground construction market released by ITA in the last General Assembly in Bergen shows that for the first time the Middle East appears as a significant and important market. No doubt, we have much to learn from the region in terms of engineering solutions adopted for their particular problems and they have also to learn about recent developments which may be useful for their problems.” Prof. Tarcisio Celestino, ITA President

A few days to go before the Opening Ceremony of the World Tunnel Congress, which will take place on Monday 23rd April from 9.00 to 13.00. In the presence of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (to be confirmed), the ceremony will be highlighted by key-moments for the underground industry :

THE TUNNEL LANDMARK LECTURE: Roman underground road network in Naples

Roman underground road network in Naples presentation will be made by M. Stefano de Caro former General Director for Archeology (Naples).

This network is the first real underground transport network in an urbanized area with a vision to optimize the transport and the communications inside the city for military and for civil reasons. Since antiquity, Neapolitan subsoil has seen the opening of myriad cisterns, quarries, passageways, catacombs, and more, becoming genuine road axes designed and built to traverse parts of the territory.

Naples's underground settings thus present so vast and diversified a horizon that it is assessed as reaching a volume equalling about one million square metres of area; but according to some estimates, there is far more to be discovered: beneath the ground there might be two million more square metres yet to be surveyed; therefore, approximately 60% of Neapolitans live and work above a cavity.


For the 44th edition of the WTC, the traditional

The “Muir Wood Lecture” is an honorary lecture being held in the name of Sir Alan Muir Wood, first ITA President. The speaker and topic is decided by the ITA General Assembly one year before the conference.

Edward Cording is Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Geotechnical Consultant.
He earned his B.Sc., in Geology from Wheaton College, IL and his M.Sc. and Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Since 1967, Dr. Cording has taught and conducted research in geotechnical engineering, with emphasis on the observation and analysis of behavior of engineering projects in rock and soil, utilizing the field as the laboratory in the areas of rock mechanics, soil-structure interaction, slope stability, excavation and tunnelling.

About the World Tunnel Congress :

WORLD TUNNEL CONGRESS - “THE ROLE OF UNDERGROUND SPACE IN FUTURE SUSTAINABLE CITIES” The World Tunnel Congress (WTC) is held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. This annual meeting is a six-day innovation sharing event and showcase scientific advance within the tunnelling and underground industry. Expecting more than 2000 experts and visitors, the 2018 World Tunnel Congress will be a key moment for all the built industry.

The theme around which the Congress will focus, will highlight the subterrean potential for many urban functions, in particular in the development of sustainable cities. During six days, the leading international specialists involved in creating powerful and innovative structures for major road and rail links, technical tunnels and underground space will come together: Contracting Authorities, Developers, Engineers, Architects, Planners, Local Authorities, Public Establishments, Major Construction Companies, Builders and Suppliers. All disciplines will be represented.

410 days
TO WTC 2018!

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