Footbridge 2017 is co-sponsored by IABSE and will take place on 6-8 September 2017 at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany.

Bridge designers from around the world are being invited to create a footbridge for the German city of Berlin, to be published in a special book at the Footbridges 2017 conference. The city is to host the sixth international footbridge conference, and potential delegates are being given the opportunity to design a crossing for one of six sites in the city that have been specially selected by the organising committee working alongside the city authorities.

Footbridge 2017 co-chairs Mike Schlaich, Laurent Ney and Jose Romo are keen to encourage more discussion and critical feedback hence as well as presenting papers in the traditional way, delegates are being given two other options – to design a bridge for Berlin, and to cultivate debate.

Berlin has many rivers and other interesting sites, all of which are crying out for a bridge, and yet it is short of footbridges. The conference organisers have worked with the Berlin Bridges Department to identify six central locations that are typical of the city, and where footbridges are needed. Detailed information about these sites is available on the website Delegates are invited to choose one site and present as a ‘paper’ their design for this location; an interesting idea for a footbridge on just three A4 pages.

A book documenting the designs for the six locations will be published at the conference, and will be a precious collection of ideas from leading experts in the field. Proposals will also be presented and discussed among the participants during the conference; in presentations, delegates are invited to tell the story of how they came up with the idea, enter into discussions with colleagues from all over the world, educate the young and learn from the more experienced.

Another option for delegates is to ‘tell a story’ about a design they have made elsewhere, or the concepts, ideas, challenges behind a new material, an algorithm or a construction sequence they have used. Traditional papers on research topics such as pedestrian-induced vibrations and other innovations in the footbridge industry are also invited.

The programme includes keynote presentations from Philippe Block, James Brownjohn, Keith Brownlie, Dietmar Feichtinger, Jan Knippers, Marc Mimram and Jiri Strasky. The conference will take place at the Technical University of Berlin in the city centre, and runs from 6-8 September.

Deadline for abstracts is 15 January 2017; see the website for more information.

Footbridge Awards 2017

The conference will also play host to the awards ceremony for the Footbridge Awards 2017, organised and sponsored by Bridge design & engineering magazine. This will be the sixth time the awards have been held, with previous winners from all around the world.

To be eligible to enter the awards, bridges must have been opened to the public between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2016, and must be for pedestrians, cyclists or equestrians. There is also a category for rehabilitation of footbridges.

Full information on the awards categories and how to enter will be published on in the coming months. To be notified when the awards are open for entries, please sign up at