Interview with Jenny Yan, President of ITA

Interview with Jenny Yan, President of ITA

You became president of ITA just before the Covid crisis. What is your take on the last two years and the future of the industry?

This international crisis has had more or less pronounced effects on our activity depending on the geographical area. Although, as in many sectors, we have experienced slowdowns, today our industry is doing well overall, with continued growth in volume and turnover. The clearest trend to emerge from this crisis is the need to accelerate our ecological transition. Tunnel and underground projects have long timeframes and are sometimes prepared more than 10 years in advance. We must therefore start thinking

today about the best technological and technical solutions that will enable us to reduce the carbon emission rate of the projects in preparation. Another strong trend that is part of this transition is the rational use of previously unused underground spaces, in response to emerging needs such as those on the African continent or in large cities where space is scarce. They can be dedicated to data centers or urban farming, the possibilities are numerous, but they offer very interesting perspectives.

Sustainability is the main theme of this year’s congress. What can you tell us about the solutions implemented by the industry?

All the parameters of our activity as manufacturers can be improved. Efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve sustainability are now numerous: better management and reuse of excavated soil, intelligent design with less steel, integration of low-carbon concrete, energy-saving lighting, etc. They must become more widespread. This 2022 meeting also aims to lay the foundations for our eco-responsible progress in terms of training, innovation, and available expertise.

What will be the highlights of this 2022 edition?

Beyond the pleasure of finally meeting up face-to-face in the beautiful city of Copenhagen, the WTC 2022 program is particularly rich, with over130 technical sessions planned. It will allow the 1,500 participants who have not attended the event in two years to discuss the latest news in the sector, future projects and learn about promising innovations. It will also be an opportunity to discover the major Scandinavian projects in progress. Their metro line extension projects, among others, illustrate how the development of underground urban transport contributes to the decarbonization of urban space. A good example of the resilient solutions we aim to promote and on which the whole sector is working on.

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