2014 Footbridge Conference


This was the official website for the 2014 Footbridge Conference held from 6-18 July 2014 - Imperial College London, UK.
Content is from the site's 2014 archived pages.

Welcome to Footbridge 2014



Since its inauguration in Paris in 2002, the triennial Footbridge Conference has established itself as a highlight of the regular international conference programme for anyone engaged in the design, construction and maintenance of footbridges.  What started in Europe now attracts speakers and participants from all around the world, and the London conference in 2014 promises to continue this trend.

In recent decades, footbridge designers have been able to push the boundaries of what is possible much further than ever before.  This is largely due to growing capabilities in computer visualisation and analysis techniques, as well as developments in materials technology and other factors, with the result that creative designers are able to imagine and create ever more adventurous designs.  However, such imagination and creativity must inevitably be subject to economic, environmental, social and other constraints that continue to place important controls on what finally gets built.  In this conference, we will explore a number of these issues, learning from each other to benefit from the knowledge and experience of other practitioners from all around the world.

Modern footbridges provide ample opportunity for adventurous structural and artistic expression, to create dramatic bridges which do much more than merely provide safe passage.  However, it is not always appropriate to build extravagant gestures just because it is possible to do so, and in many cases the right solution will be much more modest and gentle.  Knowing when to do something is every bit as important as knowing how to do it, so we will also explore some of the philosophical issues surrounding footbridge design as well as the purely technical and practical ones.

We are also concerned not only with new bridges but also with the maintenance, preservation and rehabilitation of existing footbridges.  Looking after our existing bridge stock is a vital part of our responsibility to future generations, and achieving maximum sustainability and durability must be an essential part of our design process.  Likewise we recognise the importance of learning from the lessons of the past, so this aspect will also be covered by the conference programme.

The international scientific committee will review all abstracts and papers submitted for the conference with a view to maintaining the high quality of presentations already established in previous conferences, and hopefully setting a new benchmark for future events in the Footbridge series.  We look forward to welcoming you to London in July 2014 for what promises to be an important, influential and enjoyable conference.

Ian Firth   Mike Schlaich

 Ian Firth and Mike Schlaich are co-chairs of the scientific committee


About the Conference

Conference Format

The conference will open at 9.00 on Wednesday 16 July and will conclude at 17.00 on Friday 18 July. The welcome reception and Footbridge Awards - which are included in the conference fee - will take place during the evening of 16 July, and the conference dinner (ticket required) will be on 17 July.

The Scientific Programme will include Plenary, Concurrent and Poster Sessions; keynote and invited speakers will address the conference generally in the plenary sessions, and thematic concurrent parallel sessions will be held for the presentation of papers selected by the Scientific Committee from those submitted.  Poster sessions will be structured to encourage interaction with the authors.


The Conference will be conducted in English, with no simultaneous translation. Authors invited to present their papers must be able to do so clearly in English, and be prepared to respond to questions in English during the discussion periods.


Students will enjoy reduced rates and other benefits, details of which will be available on the conference website in due course.



The scientific committee is delighted to be able to announce the keynote speakers confirmed for the conference this year.
They are:

  • Avery Bang, executive director of Bridges to Prosperity, USA
  • Jürg Conzett, Conzett, Bronzini, Gartmann, Switzerland
  • Yozo Fujino, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Christos Georgakis, Technical University of Denmark
  • Akio Kasuga, Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Company, Japan
  • Andreas Keil, Schlaich Bergermann & Partner, Germany
  • David Kendall, Optima Projects, UK
  • Edwin Kruger, National Roads Agency, South Africa
  • Martin Knight, Knight Architects, UK
  • Mark Major, Speirs & Major, UK
  • Marc Mimram, Marc Mimram Architects & Enginners, France
  • Laurent Ney, Ney & Partners, Belgium


Avery Bang
CEO, Bridges to Prosperity, USA
Avery believes that every person has a right to safe access – and as CEO of Bridges to Prosperity she has built an innovative approach to act on that belief. Since joining B2P as a volunteer in 2006, Bang has developed a scalable model to ensure safe year-round access to schools, markets and health clinics through pedestrian bridge building and training in rural developing communities. Avery was named in Engineering News Record’s Top 25 Newsmakers in 2012, was also honoured on ENR Mountain Region’s Top 20 under 40 List in 2013, and was selected as one of American Society of Civil Engineers Fresh Faces in 2011, recognising the top ten Civil Engineers in the US under 30. Avery is a Distinguished Young Alumni of The University of Iowa, a recipient of the Recent Alumni Award from The University of Colorado and will be receiving an honorary PhD from Clarkson University in May 2014. She spoke at TEDx Boulder and has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences including USGBC’s Greenbuild Nation, the ASBI Annual Convention and the CURT’s Annual Convention, among numerous others. 


Juerg Conzett
Connzett, Bronzini, Gartmann,Switzerland
Born in 1956, citizen of Schiers in Grisons, Switzerland, Conzett studied civil engineering at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Lausanne and Zürich and received his diploma in 1980. From 1981 until 1988 he worked as an employee of architect Peter Zumthor at Haldenstein. After this architectural experience he decided to start working as an independent consultant structural engineer. Today he leads an engineering office of about 25 people together with his partners Gianfranco Bronzini and Patrick Gartmann in Chur. Their main activities are designing structures for buildings together with architects as well as working on projects for bridges and bridge repairs. 
Christos Georgakis
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Professor Georgakis is an associate professor of structural engineering at the Technical University of Denmark, where he is director of the Civil Engineering Structural Dynamics Group. He is also principal of the engineering consultancy Variodynamics. His research focuses on structural dynamics, aerodynamics and vibration control. He is co-author of the book Cable-supported bridges; concept and design and has written numerous highly-cited papers on the human-induced vibrations of footbridges. His professional background includes engagements at Flint & Neill Partnership (UK) and Force Technology (Denmark). He is the 2009 recipient of the Reinholdt W Jorck Award honouring his career achievements.


David Kendall 
Optima Projects, UK
David Kendall began his career in the aerospace industry where he was responsible for the design of composite structures for aircraft such as the Airbus A320 and Tornado fighter. For 14 years he ran his own consultancy, CETEC, undertaking projects involving composites including the design and engineering of unusual building and architectural structures, boats, hovercraft and numerous specialist structures. CETEC was sold in 2004 to White Young Green, where Kendall became director of specialist structures, until the end of 2006, when he left to form Optima Projects. Optima is a small specialist consultancy undertaking the design and engineering of FRP composite structures for all industries including construction, civil engineering, marine, renewables, oil and gas. Kendall is particularly interested in developing new and challenging applications for FRP composites including large structures for bridges and buildings. Recent work has included some large FRP structures on the second tallest building in the world in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and the design of several FRP composite bridges.  
Martin Knight
Knight Architects, UK
Martin Knight is one of the leading UK architects specialising in the design of bridges and transport infrastructure. His career has included periods spent on building sites and in engineering as well as architectural practices, and his approach to design and construction has always been informed by the practical application of artistic principles, balancing aesthetics with engineering and visual logic. Knight founded specialist bridge designers Knight Architects in 2006 following nine years at Wilkinson Eyre Architects, where he was responsible for bridges including the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning Gateshead Millennium Bridge. His practice completed nine bridges at Stratford City for the London 2012 Olympic Games and recently completed the £14m Lower Hatea River Crossing in New Zealand and a 100m-long footbridge at Leverkusen in Germany. Current projects include the £600m Mersey Gateway in the UK, a 50m highway crossing of the River Avon in Bath, UK and the competition-winning 1100m £75m Krunnusillat Bridges in Helsinki. In 2010 he was elected a fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation and a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce and in 2013 he was elected a companion of the Institution of Structural Engineers.  
Edwin Kruger 
Bridge network manager, National Roads Agency, South Africa
Edwin Kruger studied civil engineering at the University of Natal, graduating Cum Laude in 1977, and has more than 35 years’ experience in roads, railways, civil structures and buildings. He has worked both in the private sector, as partner in a large consulting engineering firm, and the public sector where he specialised in bridge design and management. Since 2000 he has been bridge network manager at the South African National Roads Agency. Kruger strongly believes that the aesthetics of bridges and infrastructure should receive adequate attention, especially by those in authority. His is passionate that younger engineers catch the vision to design with aesthetics in mind. He has authored or co-authored several publications and presented several papers on bridges for both international and local audiences. He is presently chairs the South African Committee of Transport Officials structures sub-committee, which is responsible for policy and revision of documentation relating to structures.  
Mark Major
Speirs & Major, UK
Mark Major trained and practised as an architect prior to focusing on the unique relationship between light and architecture. He has worked on a wide range of award-winning lighting projects including the Millennium Dome, 30 St Mary Axe, Beijing International Airport, the refurbishment of Royal Festival Hall and the re-lighting of the interior of St Paul’s Cathedral. He is a specialist in the field of urban lighting and was named as a key city advisor by Monocle in 2013. Mark acted as the lighting design advisor to the Olympic Delivery Authority for London 2012 and was appointed to the Mayor of London’s special assistance team for the Outer London Fund in the same year. With an active interest in architectural and lighting education Mark has lectured extensively in the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, US and Australia. He was the co-creator of an educational project Made of Light – the art of light and architecture. Mark is a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the International Association of Lighting Designers and a fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. He was created a Royal Designer for Industry in 2012.
Laurent Ney
Ney & Partners, Belgium
Laurent Ney was born in 1964 in Thionville in France; he is a civil and structural engineer who trained in Belgium and Germany. Since 1995 he has been a lecturer on structural engineering at several Belgian Universities. After working from 1989 to 1996 at Greisch Consulting Engineers in Liège, he founded the engineering firm Ney & Partners in Brussels and Luxembourg. In 2012 a satellite office was opened in Tokyo, Japan. Ney’s approach is characterised by research-based design: optimisation and form-finding. Constructability and sustainability are integrated in all the designs. Ney & Partners works mainly in Europe and Asia.  
Andreas Keil
Schlaich Bergermann & Partner, Germany
Andreas Keil obtained his Diploma in Civil Engineering from the University of Stuttgart in 1985 and joined Schlaich Bergermann und Partner where he has remained ever since, working on a wide variety of bridges and other structures. Andreas is well known for his work on dramatic and structurally challenging, elegant footbridges, and has written widely on the subject. Among other awards, two of his projects have received footbridge awards: in 2011 for the Footbridge Harbour Grimberg in Gelsenkirchen and in 2005 for Liberty Bridge in Greenville. His work also includes other structures, and in 2006 the IABSE Outstanding Structure Award was give to the Central Bus Station (ZOB) in Hamburg.  
Akio Kasuga
Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Company, Japan
Dr Kasuga was born in 1957, graduated in civil engineering in 1980 from Kyusyu University and obtained his doctorate in 1997. He has been working for Sumitomo Mitsui Construction since 1980 as a bridge designer, and is responsible for the design and construction of more than 200 bridges. He is involved in R&D work which has led to more than 50 patents relating to bridges. He was a visiting scholar of the University of Texas in Austin, USA (1989 – 1990) and acted as technical adviser for the St Croix River Crossing in USA (2011 - 2012). He is a member of the Technical Council, Commission 1, and Commission 9 of fib as well as being vice president of the Japan Prestressed Concrete Institute. His awards include the fib Award for Outstanding Structure in 2006, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers Tanaka Awards (paper category) for Bridge Engineering, 2012 and the Eugène Freyssinet Trophy 2013 1st Prize.  


Yozo Fujino
University of Tokyo, Japan
Dr Yozo Fujino is Professor for bridges and structures in the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tokyo. His area of expertise is dynamics, control and monitoring of bridges and structures, earthquake- and wind-effects on structures. Professor Fujino has been involved in many international projects including the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Japan and Millennium Bridge (vibration control), UK, Stonecutter Bridge, Hong Kong. He has received many awards; recent ones include the Medal of the Purple Ribbon from the Emperor of Japan (2007), the Raymond C Reese Research Prize (2007) and Robert H Scanlan Medal (2011), both from the ASCE.


Mark Mimram
Marc Mimram Architects and Engineers, France
Marc Mimram is the founding director of Marc Mimram architects and engineers, based in Paris. The practice has completed bridges around the world, from the Jingjia Bridge in Ningbo, China to the Passerelle des Deux Rives that connects Strasbourg and Kehl. The practice recently won the 2013 Aga Khan Prize for the Hassan II Bridge in Morocco. Marc Mimram believes that architecture cannot be considered in isolation from construction and that this should always be a driver in a project’s conception as much as its execution: the project becomes a shared work, the site a place of memory, the construction a vast process of transformation.


Other events

Footbridge 10-20  

Wednesday 16th July, 18:30

Call for presenters!
Footbridge 1020 - 10 slides | 20 seconds

Footbridge 1020 is a forum to showcase your projects and ideas in a one-off session of concise quick-fire presentations made back-to-back in a whole conference environment. We are looking for stimulating visual and verbal presentations for a lively and fast-moving informal event at the end of the day’s papers on Wednesday 16th July.

Would you like to present an emerging project or a bright idea? Do you have the clarity of mind to deliver your message in 3.3 minutes flat? Slides will forward automatically every 20 seconds, no pauses, no returns, no exceptions!

Subject proposals are invited from delegates that will add to the breadth and colour of the conference proceedings. There are no limitations on what you may propose but the organisers will seek to create a balanced and inspiring programme of presentations.

In the first instance please e-mail us a few brief lines on your proposed subject and a single accompanying image where possible. Chosen contributors will be required to submit their 10 slides and a title, at least ten days before the conference, and to stand up be counted on the night!

E mail submissions to organisers@footbridge2014.com by 20th June 2014

NB. Footbridge 10-20 is only open to registered delegates, so please ensure to register before submitting your application. 

Gala Dinner 

Thursday 17th July 

This years prestigious Gala Dinner will be held on the Symphony Boat Cruise along the River Thames. There is no better way to discover some of London's most famous bridges than from the River Thames itself. 

The Symphony is London's largest all-glass structure restaurant cruise vessel, allowing guests to enjoy the magnificient views of London without any interruptions. 

Guests will be welcomed onto the boat with a welcome drink and canapés, followed by a three course meal, wine, tea and coffee and live jazz entertainment. Transport to the Embankment Pier from Imperial College is also included in the Gala Dinner registration price. 

We hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us on this special evening. 

A limited number of tickets are still available at a discounted rate of £100 & VAT for delegates attending the conference or at a standard rate of £150 & VAT. 

Bus Departs Imperial College: 17:30

Boarding at Embankment Pier: 18:15 

Dinner Cruise Dress Code: The dress code for the Dinner Cruise is smart to formal. Both ladies and gentlemen are asked to dress in a manner appropriate to a smart formal occasion. Sports shoes and leisure wear are not permitted.

Child Policy: Children under the age of 16 years are not permitted on the Dinner Cruise



Footbridge Awards

Footbridge Awards Shortlist


Short span

Bleichwiesensteg, Backnang, Germany

Pembroke College, Oxford, UK

Point Resolution Bridge, Auckland, New Zealand

Campusbrucke Opladen, Germany

Vluchthaven Bridge, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Smedenpoort Twin Bridges, Bruges, Belgium


Medium span

Jarrold Bridge, Norwich, UK

Slinky Bridge, Oberhausen, Germany

Phyllis J Tilley Memorial Bridge, Forth Worth, USA

New Valletta Grand Harbour Breakwater Footbridge, Malta

Town Centre Link, Stratford, UK

Media City Footbridge, Salford, UK

Geniedijk Bridge, The Haarlemmemeer, Netherlands


Long span

Anaklia-Ganmukhuri Bridge, Georgia

Ticino River Bridge, Bellinzona, Switzerland

Boyscout Consol Energy Wing Tip Footbridge, West Virginia USA

Peace Bridge, Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Pedro Gomez del Bosque Bridge, Valladolid, Spain

Bow River Bridge, Banff, Canada



Mala Panew River Bridge, Poland

Essing Bridge, Germany

Dawlish Station, UK


Jonathan Speirs Footbridge Lighting Award

Slinky Bridge, Oberhausen, Germany

Castle Green Bridge, UK

Ticino River Bridge, Switzerland

The Saints Stadium Bridge, UK 


All bridges built for pedestrians, cyclists or equestrians, which were opened to the public between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2013 are eligible to enter the awards.

The awards were last presented in 2011 in collaboration with the footbridge conference in Wroclaw, Poland. Winners included the Rhine-Herne Canal Bridge in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, the Te Rewa Rewa Footbridge in New Plymouth, New Zealand, the Knokke-Heist Footbridge in Belgium, and the Riverside Footbridge in Cambridge, UK.

A series of awards will be made, with the three main awards being given to recognise outstanding achievements in bridges with different span lengths; small, medium and long-span, recognising the different constraints designers must address in each category.

The categories are based on the size of the maximum clear span of the structure – short span is categorised as up to 30m, medium span is between 30m and 75m, while long span is anything greater than 75m.

There will also be an award for the best footbridge renovation project, to recognise good practice in the refurbishment of historic structures, or re-use of old highway bridges as footbridges, and a footbridge lighting award. 




Footbridge Awards 2014 in London

Momentum Magazine

On the first evening of the " Footbridge 2014 " conference , which was held at the Imperial College in London from 16 to 18 July 2014, several bridges were awarded the 2014 Footbridge Award. Since the first conference in Paris in 2002, this prize has been awarded by the magazine " Bridge design & engineering " and awarded to the best walking and cycling paths worldwide. The award is always held every three years as part of the conference. For 2014, prize winners were selected in five categories and eight awards were awarded.

Twin bridges Smedenpoort, Bruges (award winner in the category 'Short Spans')

Zwitterbrücken Smedenpoort, Bruges (winner in the category "Short Span") (Photo: Jean-Luc Deru)

In the "Short Span" category for bridges with spans of up to 30 meters, the twin bridges in Smedenpoort, Belgium, were awarded the prize. The design for the very filigree construction comes from the Belgian Ingnieurbüro Ney & Partners. Awards were also awarded to the Campus Bridge in Opladen (Knippers Helbig with Knight Architects), the Bleichwiesensteg in Backnang (schlaich bergermann and partner) and the Vluchthavenbrücke in Amsterdam (also Ney & Partners).

Jarrold Bridge in Norwich (winner in the category 'Medium Span')

Jarrold Bridge in Norwich (winner in the category "Medium Span") (Photo: Footbridge Awards)

Bridges with spans between 30 and 75 meters were awarded in the "Medium Span" category. The prize was awarded to the Jarrold Bridge in Norwich, UK, planned by Ramboll. In addition to this, three awards were also awarded to the MediaCity Footbridge in Salford (Wilkinson Eyre with Ramboll), Brückenskulptur "Slinky Springs to Fame" in Oberhausen (Tobias Rehberger with schlaich bergermann and partner) Geniedijk Bridge in Amsterdam (Verburg Hoogendijk Architects with DHV Amersfoort).

Bow River Bridge in Banff (award winner in the category 'Long Span')

Bow River Bridge in Banff (award winner in the category "Long Span") (Photo: Paul Ziska)

From a span of 75 meters, the "Long Span" category was considered, and the price went to the Bow River Bridge, built almost entirely in wood in Canada's Banff. The design was developed by the company Structurecraft Builders, while Fast & Epp Structural Engineers were responsible for structural engineering. Engineer Lucas Epp also won the Footbridge Young Author Award, sponsored by Flint & Neill, for his lecture and essay on this bridge. In the "Long Span" category, only one award was awarded for the Peace Bridge in Northern Ireland, Derry-Londonderry (Wilkinson Eyre Architects with Aecom).

Castle Green Footbridge in Taunten (winner of the Jonathan Speirs Footbridge Lighting Award)

Castle Green Footbridge in Taunten (winner of the Jonathan Speir Footbridge Lighting Award) (Photo: Footbridge Awards)

For the first time, the Jonathan Speirs Footbridge Lighting Award was awarded this year. The prize was donated in honor of Jonathan Speirs, who had made a name for himself as a lighting designer until his death in 2012 and is to honor the best lighting concepts for pedestrian bridges. The Castle Green Bridge in Taunton, Great Britain, was the first to win the prize. The bridge was designed by Flint & Neill with Moxon Architects; the lighting design comes from LDA Design. The bridge sculpture "Slinky Springs to Fame", which was excellently described for its construction, also received an award for the lighting concept.

Chain Bridge in Ozimek (award winner in the category renovation / conversion)

Chain Bridge in Ozimek (award winner in the category Rehabilitation / Reuse) (Photo: Footbridge Awards)

A separate Footbridge Award has been awarded for the renovation, upgrading and conversion of existing bridges. The award went to the chain bridge in Ozimek, Poland, which was generally renovated after a project of the Technical University of Opole and converted into a walking and cycle path bridge.

The award of the next Footbridge Awards will take place in 2017 at the footbridge conference in Berlin. The conference will be chaired by Professor Mike Schlaich of the TU Berlin.