ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress: 21 to 26 May, 2011 in Helsinki

Warmly welcome to Helsinki, Finland for the ITA-AITES 2011 World Tunnel Congress “Underground spaces in the service of a sustainable society” and the 37th ITA-AITES General Assembly, which will be held at Finlandia Hall Conference and Exhibition Centre from 21 to 26 May, 2011.

A boom in tunnelling is currently underway in Finland and it is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. A decision has just been taken to expand the metro system in our capital city and an underground airport transit link is under implementation.

Finland is as well investigating and planning an underground final storage facility for spent nuclear fuel – one of the first of its kind anywhere in the world.


Themes of the conference

The Sub themes of the conference are “Planning the usage of subterranean spaces” (with the subjects New dimensions of rock engineering/construction, Investigation and data management, Design and architecture, Excavation methods and equipment, Service and maintenance), “Municipal services” (with the subjects Wastewater, Waste processing, Fresh water tunnels, Energy distribution and stockpiling), “Operational technologies” (with the subjects Conditions, Equipment, Facilities, Safety and security, Monitoring), “Traffic and logistics” (with the subjects Rail, Road, Communication, Multipurpose, New innovations), “Geologic disposal of nuclear waste” (with the subjects Concepts, Proposals, Projects), “Renewable energy” (with the subjects Hydropower, Geothermal power) and “Project management” (with the subjects Administration, Finance, Quality and risk management, Environmental impact assessment, Lifecycle management, Contractual relationships).


Venue Finlandia Hall

Helsinki‘s famous congress and concert palace, Finlandia Hall, was designed by the world renown architect Alvar Aalto. Since opening in 1971, Finlandia Hall has hosted numerous international meetings of worldwide importance, e.g. the Conference on Security and Co operation in Europe. During the Finnish Presidencies of the European Union in 1999 and 2006, Finlandia Hall was the scene for many EU summits (Fig. 1).


Technical excursions during the congress

There will be several technical excursions during the congress. It is possible to take part in from 1 to 3 excursions. Excursions will be arranged on Monday and Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

1 Energy and multi-utility tunnel network of Helsinki

Beneath Helsinki lie more than 40 km of Helsinki Energy‘s multi-utility and energy tunnels, which contain district heating and cooling pipelines, 110 kV cables, medium-voltage cables and optical data transfer cables, as well as the main pipelines of Helsinki Water.

2 Itäkeskus underground swimming centre

The underground swimming centre was carved into bedrock in 1993. The spa-type underground space contains a 50 m swimming pool, whirlpool baths, saunas, a gym, etc. The facility can be converted into a shelter for 3,800 persons.

3 Viikinmäki underground wastewater treatment plant

HSY Water has centralised all of Helsinki‘s wastewater treatment operations into the Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plant. The total volume of excavated rock was 1.2 Mio. m3. The first phase (1 Mio. m3) was excavated in 1988 to 1991 and the second phase (200,000 m3) in 2000 to 2001.

4 West Metro Project

13.9 km long twin tunnel and 7 new stations. Construction started in late 2009. The westbound metro line will be owned by the cities of Helsinki and Espoo.

Information under

5 KEHU - City Service tunnel

2.5 km service tunnel across the city, from east to west, under the historical centre of Helsinki. Construction was finished in 2010. The tunnel will be used to service shops, restaurants, offices and hotels in the area.

6 Underground coal storage and district cooling

Helsinki’s Energy underground coal storage facility in Salmisaari was built in 2001 to 2003. The project also included an underground district cooling centre, a power station and 3.5 km of tunnels. The total excavated volume was 550,000 m3. Each coal silo is 65 m high and has a 40 m diameter with a circular plan cross-section. The volumetric capacity of each silo is 81,000 m3.

7 Ring Rail Line (Kehärata)

Airport transit is a new rail section connecting the city centre to Vantaankoski local track with the main northbound rail track. The whole project consists of 18 km of new double track and 8 new stations. Of this, 8 km of track and 4 stations will be fully underground. The owners of the project are the Finnish Rail Administration and the City of Vantaa.

Information under

8 Parking and service tunnels for Finlandia Hall and new Music Centre of Helsinki

The Music Centre of Helsinki and the enlargement of historic Finlandia Hall will be opened in spring 2012. New parking and service tunnels will be situated into caverns under the new built facilities and surrounding traffic roads. In the 150,000 m3 underground parking cavern there is space for 650 parking plots. Present on ground parking and service areas will be transferred into a public city park.


Social events

Helsinki has a lot to offer to congress delegates and their families. Whether you are arranging a reception, formal banquet, concert or a more informal gathering, you will always find a pleasant setting for it. According to a preliminary plan, the social programme of the AITES-ITA Congress will include the following events:

Get together

on Sunday 22 May

Get together party will take place at park near Finlandia Hall.

City Reception

on Monday 23 May

The City of Helsinki is honoured to receive the congress delegates. The reception will take place at the prestigious City Hall and the Lord Mayor of Helsinki will host the event. The City Hall is beautifully located in the historical centre of Helsinki, opposite the colourful Market Square and the harbour.

Congress Banquet

on Wednesday 25 May

The venue for the Congress Banquet is Dipoli. Dipoli is one of the premier prestigious venues in Finland for seminars and Festive events. It is in a prime location, sharing in the diverse services on offer in the capital as well as the innovative atmosphere of the scientific community of Otaniemi.

 Helsinki and Finland

Finland is perhaps best known for its peacefulness and beautiful nature. Vast forests, a unique archipelago and thousands of lakes present a striking mixture of wooded hills and waters (Figure 2). In addition to its mystical northern nature, Finland is also a modern Nordic country with a high standard of living and advanced economy and technology.

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a modern city with over half a million residents and is situated on the Baltic Sea. The archipelago that surrounds Helsinki with hundreds of tiny islands creates an idyllic environment for cruises, for example. Finland is a safe and reliable destination, easily accessible from all over the world. Helsinki is unique among Northern European cities (Fig. 3). The lifestyle in the second-most northern capital city in the world is full of contrasts and activities in the form of hundreds of events and friendly people. Finnish design has also made the country’s capital city world famous. Everything is nearby – Helsinki is a pocket-sized metropolis that is ideal for visitors!



Registration is open and early fee is valid to March1st, 2011.

Registration fees before March 1st, 2011:

Participant ⇥860 €

Young participant ⇥490 € (born in year 1980 or later)

Accompanying person195 €

All fees include 23 % VAT. Accompanying person’s fee includes: Opening ceremony, city reception, Helsinki city tour and design shopping tour.


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