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Vol. 29 International Road Federation
This section focuses on a unique overseas website related to civil engineering IT. This issue features the International Road Federation (IRF), a unique global platform that brings together public and private entities committed to road development. In this article we focus on the IRF Geneva Programme Centre.
International Road Federation (http://www.irfnet.ch/
「Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Geneva Programme Centre」

Organization of Road Professionals' Network and its Activities

IRF is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit international organization with a membership system. Its mission is to encourage and promote development and maintenance of better, safer and more sustainable roads and road networks. To realize this, the IRF promotes social and economic benefits that flow from well-planned and environmentally sound road transport networks, working together with its members and associates. It also helps put in place technological solutions and management practices that provide maximum economic and social returns from national road investments.

Moreover, the IRF has a major role to play in all aspects of road policy and development worldwide. For governments and financial institutions, for example, the IRF provides a wide base of expertise for planning road development strategy and policy. For its members, the IRF is a business network, and a link to external institutions and agencies, including the United Nations, the European Union (EU), World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others. For the community of road professionals, such as national road associations as well as companies and institutions dedicated to the development of road infrastructure, the IRF positions itself as a source of support and information.

In addition, through the International Road Educational Foundation, the IRF actively supports the future generations who will build the road networks by assisting academic training of engineers and other transportation professionals.

The IRF forms a wide network in the road sector across over eighty countries on six continents and plays a unique role by providing best practices and expert advice to today's multi-faceted world of road infrastructure and transport.

Playing a Leading Role in Road Infrastructure Development After World War II

IRF was founded in 1948 at a time when there was a pressing need for an international organization to attract attention to the growing economic and social importance of good highways.

Spurred by the creation of many international bodies in the post-war era, the IRF was chartered on May in that year in Washington D.C. It started with the responsibility to encourage the planning and financing to build national and international road networks, and to provide advice to help ensure a maximum return for road investments throughout the world.

It became clear that a single office in Washington D.C. would not be efficient on a worldwide basis; therefore, a second office was established in London. Each office was designed to be independent. Later still another office was opened in Paris, France. By 1964, due to pressing road developments in Europe, it consolidated its original London and Paris offices into a single office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Through its efforts over 60 years since its foundation, the IRF has not only been playing a leading role in the road infrastructure development in the world, but also united road professionals worldwide under a common mission. Working on new challenges every decade, the IRF has been affiliated closely with the development of world economies.

Responding to Diverse Issues Faced by Road Infrastructure

The top page of the IRF Geneva Program Centre Website enables to access various information through each menu item including about the aforementioned IRF organization and membership, Specific themes such as Road Safety, Environment, PPP (Public-private partnerships), ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems), Statistics putting together the world road statistics, IRF publications, Knowledge providing information for sustainable transportation and professional technologies or technical advice, Activities showing activities and programs provided and operated by the IRF, Events that guides event information held by the IRF, Communication that puts together various information sent by the IRF.

For example, it is possible to use the Road Safety Toolkit providing information on the causes and prevention of road crashes based on the road safety studies; "CHANGER" (Calculator for Harmonised Assessment and Normalisation of Greenhouse-gas Emissions for Roads) designed by the IRF for road infrastructure projects to calculate greenhouse-gas emissions and thus responding to the rise of environmental awareness; and "gTKP" (global Transport Knowledge Partnership) that supports sustainable and efficient transport by providing access to a knowledge library containing the best available information and expertise by categories, regions, and types.

▲Page for IRF Bulletin ▲Page for CHANGER ▲Page for gTKP
(Images provided by IRF Geneva Programme Centre)
 This article is written based on the above Web site with permission from IRF Geneva Programme Centre.

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