Overseas News on Civil Engineering IT
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World Road Association(PIARC)
Website name : World Road Association
URL : http://www.piarc.org/en/

This section focuses on a unique overseas website related to civil engineering IT. This issue features World Road Association, the international road community for road administration. It is commonly known as PIARC (Permanent International Association of Road Congress).

International Forum for Roads and Road Transport with a History of 100 Years
It dates back to 1909 that PIARC was established. Since then, it has been a leading unique international forum for discussion of issues related to roads and road transport. Currently, PIARC has members in over 140 countries including 118 road administration authorities of member governments. Members include individuals, companies, authorities, agencies and so on.

The vision of PIARC is to become the world leader in the exchange of knowledge on roads and road transport policy and practices within an integrated sustainable transport context. A non-political and non-profit making association, it was granted consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of United Nations in 1970.

As its mission, PIARC exists to serve the members by 1) being a leading international forum for analysis and discussion of the full spectrum of transport issues, related to roads and road transport, 2) identifying, developing and disseminating best practice and giving better access to international information, 3) fully considering within its activities the needs of developing countries and countries in transition, 4) developing and promoting efficient tools for decision making on matters related to roads and road transport. In order to realize its aims, PIARC 1) creates and coordinates Technical Committees, 2) organizes a quadrennial World Road Congress, a quadrennial Winter Road Congress and various technical seminars and 3) publishes a large number of documents including a quarterly magazine ("Routes/Roads"), according to the Web site.

The Council takes the ultimate responsibility for the governance of the Association. The Council consists of delegations from member states, and elects the officers, the Secretary General and the members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee manages the Association by delegation of the Council. The Commissions including Finance, Communications and International Relations, Strategic Planning, Technological Exchanges and Development, and the General Secretariat assist it. The PIARC General Secretariat, which is located in Paris, is responsible for the PIARC web site, and for editing the Routes/Roads magazine and PIARC's various publications. In addition, the General Secretariat supports the planning and preparation of the World Road Congress and International Winter Road Congresses. Moreover, there are PIARC National Committees in 38 member countries. They not only contribute to the dissemination of PIARC outputs, but also organize local activities such as meetings, conferences and seminars, and undertake some membership services and administration duties in their own countries.

Devising Ways to Exchange Necessary Information from the World Over
The home page of the Web site has a menu containing Virtual Library, Terminology, WIN (The World Interchange Network), Training Organizations, and Links.

Virtual Library contains published materials classified by Technical Reports, Congresses proceedings, Routes/Roads Articles, Dictionaries and lexicons, Other documents, Seminars proceedings, Software, and Congresses Archives. Accessible materials include studies presented in the World Road Congresses, the work performed by technical committees and published since 1986, proceedings of World Road Congresses and International Winter Road Congresses, PIARC Technical Dictionary of Road Terms, statutory documents, annual activity reports, four-year strategic plans, software programs such as HDM-4 and QRA model. They were working to expand the contents within 2009 to include proceedings of PIARC World Road Congresses and International Winter road Congresses, which have been organized since 1908.

Terminology is a technical dictionary that supports several languages. Users can look up a term directly, or by focusing on a particular theme or setting up options. It also supports search requests using particular dictionaries such as PIARC Dictionary, PIARC Lexicon, Road Transport Informatics, Sustainable Transport, Bridges, Weigh-in-motion, and Winter Maintenance.

WIN is the abbreviation of The World Interchange Network. It was created in 1995 for the purpose of connecting people with questions about road technologies and road transport with experts who can provide the information needed. By selecting continents, domains, and languages, users can find out the search criteria from the listed fields.

Training Organizations presents organizations that are offering training courses in the road sector. The directory of professional training organizations in the field of road and road transportation is designed to answer the needs of practitioners who are seeking professional development opportunities. Users select several categories such as continent, countries, type of organization, fields in which courses are offered, teaching format, or language of courses on the search page. Based on several criteria, information about organizations offering professional training courses will be provided.

PIARC keeps relationships with a large number of international organizations in association with its mission to be a forum for exchanges and to promote international cooperation. Links is a section for presenting these organizations in order, both worldwide and regional, active in fields related with road and road transport.

In addition, Calendar section presents the calendar of congresses and symposiums dealing with road and road transportation. Links are set to obtain detailed information on each event.

Home page:
World Road Association (PIARC)
Strategic Plan 2008-2011
Images provided by PIARC

This article is written based on the above Web site with permission from PIARC.