Convention in Naples focusing on Underground Construction Projects

The official programme ( for the World Tunnel Congress has just been published. This international annual event is dedicated to that sector of the engineering world that focuses on underground construction projects and will take place in Italy next May. With over 2,100 km overall length of road and rail tunnels our country is the number one in Europe and the number two worldwide, second only to China. According to the most recent data from ANCE (National Association of Building Constructors), tunnel construction is an important sector in Italian industry with a total turnover of €15 billion earned abroad. Of the 811 construction sites opened worldwide by Italian companies, 43 are for the construction of underground railway lines, shared between Saudi Arabia, Australia, Denmark, Qatar, Turkey, France and Romania, in addition to the strong domestic market.

Promoted by the Società Italiana Gallerie (SIG) and the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA-AITES), this year the World Tunnel Congress will be held in the spaces of the Exhibition D ‘Oltremare in Naples, which from 3rd to 9th May will host leading sector experts, university professors and researchers, professionals, engineering companies, major clients and representatives of the main construction companies in the sector, over 150 speakers and about 2 thousand expected participants from all over the world in a scientific event designed to take stock of the state of the art and the most recent innovations in the sector.

The Campania capital offers numerous historical examples of tunnels dating back as far as the Greco-Roman era and in recent years has demonstrated significant ability in the use and enhancement of underground spaces, adopting innovative solutions for excavations and successfully combining archaeology, architecture and art in the award-winning Metro Art Stations. Toledo, University and Garibaldi are just some of the most appreciated and a striking example of how the combination of the production capacity of large-scale Italian companies, the creative genius of international artists and architects and the foresight of a customer like the Naples Metro can guarantee a new and high quality re-assessment of the underground environment.

The WTC 2019 programme is notable for its capacity to highlight the numerous inter-connections of the tunnelling world with disciplines considered up until recently as unrelated to the sector. As a result numerous specific themes will be examined, including the so-named Triple A sessions looking at Archaeology, Architecture and Art and which will  be held both at the Mostra d’Oltremare and more specifically at the Palazzo Serra di Cassano on Wednesday 8thMay. A special visit to the Bourbon Tunnel, the ancient underground passage commissioned in 1853 and recently restored is also on the agenda. This tour has been organized in collaboration with ITACUS, one of the four permanent committees of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA-AITES).

Photo . Archivio Astaldi