Editorial - Newsletter September 2020

Claude Van Rooten

Dear colleagues and friends,

Slightly less than a year after it took place, the Final Proceedings of the XXVIth World Road Congress are available. Our Congress in Abu Dhabi attracted 42 Ministers of Transport, 7 keynote speakers, 150 exhibitors, over 5,000 delegates from 145 countries. They were treated to a programme of 75 sessions and workshops, 500 oral presentations, 243 posters. The Final Proceedings of the Congress are presented as a very comprehensive website, which contains the general report of the Congress, the Congress programme, introductory reports and conclusions of the sessions, individual papers selected by the Technical Committees and Task Forces from the proposals received to the call for papers, national reports produced by PIARC member countries… On behalf of the Association, I would like to thank all those who have made such a success of this Congress.

This Final Proceedings website also includes numerous pictures and videos, which remind us how friendly this event was. After all, our Congress was organised under the theme "Connecting Cultures - Enabling Economies", and all delegates certainly connected very actively. This is one of the main reasons why our Association exists, and the COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need to find the most appropriate ways to maintain that connection.

Let’s look to the future. In less than 18 months, PIARC will organize the "XVIth World Congress on Winter Road Service and Road Resilience" from February 8 to 11, 2022 in Calgary (Canada). This will be a tremendous opportunity and a step change for our Association:

  • Spanish will be an official language of the Congress, and I am sure that there will be many Spanish-speaking delegates
  • The theme of “resilience” has been added to the core theme of “winter service”; not only is this very relevant, but it also means that the Congress will be of interest to all countries in the world
  • In addition to face-to-face participation, our colleagues and friends of Transport Canada are analysing options and scenarios for remote (online) participation, and we will make announcements early next year.

I hope that all of you have earmarked those dates and plan to join us in Calgary. In the meantime, our international call for papers is still open. I invite all road and road transport experts and practitioners, from ministries, operators, academia, construction or engineering companies…, to submit an abstract before the deadline of 30 November 2020.

Claude Van Rooten

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