From 8 to 10 November 2023, the STUVA Conference and accompanying trade exhibition “STUVA-Expo” took place at Messe München. The number of participants at the STUVA Conference 2023 was higher than ever before.
Food for Thought in the Opening Lectures
Over 2300 visitors registered to attend the conference and the accompanying STUVA Expo in the exhibition hall. At the opening event, STUVA Chairman Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Ziegler announced that visitors from 26 countries had travelled to Munich for this internationally important event.
Among other things, Ziegler spoke about the necessity of a significant underground public transport expansion and the acceptance among the population using the example of Munich‘s 2nd main line: “We have no choice but to expand public transport. The underground is part of this. But metros have fallen into disrepute because they require too much concrete.” However, only looking at CO2 emissions during construction is not enough; the entire life cycle of a construction must be included in the assessment. Not to mention the considerably greater capacities that public transport has to offer compared to private transport.
The opening lecture by ITA President Prof. Arnold Dix was very well received. According to the title, it was supposed to be about the economic realization of ecologically efficient underground structures, but Dix went far beyond a review of feasibility and sustainability in his presentation. Climate change – that has to be stopped. But many other changes are underway worldwide that require participation rather than resistance.
With China, Southeast Asia, India and Africa, Dix showed examples of the changing world order, which also affects tunnel builders: global urbanization, the creation of underground infrastructure as a necessary response – on their own initiative, with their own resources – and the resulting maintenance and improvement of quality of life: “This will only happen if you do something. Doing nothing is not an option!” And underground construction is a key element here “Water supply, wastewater, transportation solutions – only we can do that. That‘s what makes life in the city possible in the first place. That‘s what we do. And you can trust us to do it.” The reasoning was polemically sharp, but meant seriously: “Because we are not politicians.”
More Than 4000 Participants
In addition to the extensive two-day lecture program on the topics of tunnel construction and tunnel operation/planning, the “family reunion” of the tunnel construction industry with the Expo once again offered ample opportunity for professional exchange and networking: 192 exhibitors presented their products and services on an area of more than 3350 m². This exceeded the size of the previous largest STUVA Expo in Stuttgart in 2017. In total, the STUVA Conference 2023 in Munich attracted over 4000 participants – a new record.