Questions to the new President of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association:
Tarcisio Celestino sets strategy for the ITA & the tunnelling industry
Question: You were elected President of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association during ITA’s General Assembly, last April in San Francisco. What is your own perspective of countries’ demands regarding tunnels and underground space? How do you see the future of the tunnelling industry?
Tarcisio Celestino: The economic configuration is currently changing. In recent years, we have faced a long-lasting economic slowdown, during which everybody tended to curb their longterm investments. Yet, and it is good news, we are now entering a recovery phase, which implies new investments in tunnels and underground space. Until now, the sustainability factor had not been sufficiently taken into account in investment choices, which is understandable: public authorities and owners do not always have in-depth knowledge of sustainable existing solutions and environmental regulations in terms of underground construction, even though things tend to evolve in a good way. It is the role of the ITA to accompany the move of public authorities in their reflection on sustainable cities, for them to
think about their underground infrastructures upstream. Indeed, if you wait for your city to face intense traffic jams before you design and develop public transports, then you will have to wait another 15 years for these problems to be fixed!