The ITACET Foundation recently collaborated with the China Railway Group Ltd and the Tunnel and Underground Works branch of the China Civil Engineering Society (CCES) within the scope of an international exchange summit on the subject of urban utility tunnels. The summit, co-organized by China Railway Academy co. Ltd and several other Chinese sponsors, was held on April 25-26 in Chengdu, China and attracted over 400 participants. Many of the attendees were senior level engineers and managers who came to better understand how the planning, design, financing, operation and management of common utility tunnels are handled in different countries and to share the already significant experience in China in creating such tunnels (by the end of 2016 more than 2000 km of utility tunnels had been built in 147 cities across China). This continues to be a “hot” topic in China since the Chinese government has laid out guidelines for Chinese cities to start the construction of another 200km of common utility tunnels in 2017 and made available significant financial resources to help the cities implement the plans.
As with typical ITACET programmes, the ITA-CET committee worked with the local organizers to create the right technical program and the ITACET Foundation helped to facilitate the program and to make the formal arrangements for the international speakers. The international speakers came from Czech Republic, France, Germany, Singapore, UK, and USA. Chinese speakers came from major companies and academic institutions with extensive design, construction and research experience.
Both international and Chinese delegates were impressed with the high quality of the information shared on worldwide experiences with common utility tunnels. While critically important to the functioning of many cities, it is difficult to find good information, guidelines and standards for such installations and the information is quite piecemeal. This summit provided a concentrated collection of experiences and detailed design issues and the format of longer presentations, specific Q&A sessions and a wrap-up round table discussion helped make it a successful event.
Pictured above: Mr Liu Hui, Chief Engineer of the China Railway Group Limited delivering the welcoming speech for the summit (left) and a round table discussion on "how to make utilidors more profitable" (right).