A message from the AFTES

The French Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (AFTES) is holding its 16th International Congress from 6 to 8 September 2021 at the Palais des Congrès - Porte Maillot in Paris. Initially scheduled for 23-25 September 2020, it had to be postponed as a result of the public health crisis. After the difficult period we have just come through, it will be a pleasure for all the players in our sector to finally meet again.

AFTES, VIPARIS, manager of the Palais des Congrès, and GL Events, our events provider, will of course implement any and all health protection measures imposed or recommended by the authorities that might still be necessary in early September. Already, the available spaces have been reworked into two larger conference rooms, so as to accommodate all our delegates, even if capacity limits have to be implemented.

The general theme this year is: "The underground, a space of innovations." Underground spaces are an opportunity to imagine and build the city of tomorrow. The underground space is also at the heart of innovation with the creation of a variety of improvement installations and new activities. In the design and building of structures, new approaches are emerging when it comes to undertaking studies, digital modelling, digging and construction materials, equipment and products. All these topics will be explored in successive conferences held over the three days. 80 presentations are already on the programme

In addition to the exhibition, which will give more than 150 companies and businesses the chance to present their activities and dialogue with visitors, some special features of this 2021 congress are also worth noting:

- a day dedicated to training on Sunday, eve of the congress opening; these sessions organised by the AFTES youth committee will focus on managing excavation and instabilities using conventional methods;

- the European Underground and Tunnel Forum (EUTF), created at the end of 2019 and encompassing 9 sister associations (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland) will be hosted for the 1st time in France; a special round table will be the opportunity to become familiar with and discuss this Forum’s key issues, followed by a technical session dedicated to the rehabilitation of underground structures, a theme for which the Forum advocates;

-A session on underground space, open to anyone and aimed at developers and urban planners, a chance to showcase the main advances of the nationwide Ville10D project, as well as to open onto emblematic projects;

-a day of site visits on Thursday following the congress, with a programme of course directly connected with the Grand Paris works underway.

All the information (programme details, registration, logistics, practical information, etc.) can be found on the Congress website: www.aftes2021.fr

Remember that there is still time for you to be part of the conference through various partnership arrangements and thus maximise your visibility at the event.

We hope to see many of you at our congress, and that you will come away fully satisfied.

President, Congress Committee
Michel DEFFAYET
  President, AFTES
Philippe MILLARD