Editorial - Newsletter May 2020

Patrick Malléjacq
Secretary General

Dear colleagues and friends,

PIARC was born with the first road congress and since then we organize Congresses very regularly. One of our essential missions is indeed to provide a forum for analysis and discussion to the road community, and our Congresses are privileged opportunities for meetings and exchanges, allowing everyone to keep abreast of new developments and to bring out new ideas. They are a very effective complement to our many seminars and to the reports we make available on our website.

In less than two years, PIARC will organize the "World Congress on Winter Road Service and Road Resilience" from February 8 to 11, 2022 in Calgary (Canada). It will follow the XVth International Winter Road Congress, which we organised in Gdansk (Poland) in February 2018 and the XXVIth World Road Congress, which we organised in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) in October 2019. I am pleased to announce this today for several reasons.

The first reason is that this Congress will mark an evolution. The winter topics will be a major pillar, but PIARC has been keen to broaden its focus to include one of the key topics of our Strategic Plan, namely resilience. It should be noted that this is indeed road resilience in the broadest sense, without seasonal constraints. In doing so, the PIARC Congress in 2022 will be relevant to all our member countries, regardless of their climate.

The second reason is that it is planned that Spanish will be an official language of the Congress, alongside French and English, which is a first for this series of Congresses. There is no doubt that the very active Spanish-speaking community will be present, and we have made a point of facilitating exchanges for as many people as possible.

The third reason is that the preparations are progressing well. The Congress website will soon be online, and we will publish the call for papers in July. Potential authors who are interested in topics related to winter service or road resilience can already note that the deadline for submission is November 30 of this year.

The final reason is that the Congress is confirmed. The COVID-19 crisis is certainly creating new circumstances and many uncertainties for the future, as well as a renewed interest in working and exchanging knowledge at a distance. However, Canada and PIARC have concluded, after analysis, that the need to meet face-to-face remains paramount and that the road community should be offered this prospect of meeting face-to-face, and therefore of hope. We look forward to seeing you in Calgary in February 2022.

Stay safe

Patrick Malléjacq

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