The theme of the 2020 IAB5E Congress is “Resilient technologies for sustainable infrastructure”.
The Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 shook the foundations of Christchurch’s infrastructure. Although 185 people lost their lives, the principles of capacity design meant that a lot of the city’s infrastructure network needed significant repair or replacement. This led to the realisation that a resilient society is not one that returns to its old setup after adversity, but one that adapts to a “new normal” while learning from the past.
Thus, the theme of the 2020 Congress was suitably chosen for Christchurch, to highlight how the use of resilient and sustainable technologies have been embedded into its regeneration. Unfortunately, the global COVID-19 pandemic meant that our international IABSE family could not visit Christchurch to see some of these technologies in person at this time, and so innovation was needed to share some of these with everyone around the world.
The congress was organised by the New Zealand Group of IABSE. The proceedings contain just under 170 papers, presented at the congress. The innovative nature of the online conference aided the inclusion of. 15 keynote addresses and seven invited speakers, which are detailed in the proceedings as abstracts. The delivery used a “flipped classroom” approach, providing recorded presentations two weeks ahead of the congress and followed by discussions at the main event, to further engage participants.