Underground space use evolves via application of best practices
The paper aims at sharing among various stakeholders the questions and answers of “Why to”, the “Where to”, the “When to” as well as the “Impact of” in underground space planning. As urban space becomes a scarce commodity, urban developers, planners and architects are finding room for urban expansion downward, using the subsurface space as an urban canvas. While past practices left behind a legacy of individual achievements, a growing urban congestion makes it ever more difficult to expand underground space in major cities. It is in response to this effect that a need exists worldwide to rationally plan urban underground expansion. Growth of underground cities, tunnels, subways and public utilities can be provided for in a safe and cost effective manner if planning is properly executed based on scientific understanding of the subsurface development and within a framework of a lawful and legitimate right of way. The paper will address the struggles of certain cities and megalopolises in developing underground space and will emphasize their advances in providing for it in a planned way. Some of the best practices and lessons learned will be explored especially in terms of evolution of the awareness of the underground space use for people, utilities, storage & energy and for infrastructure & Transportation.