Program > Keynote Lectures
Program > Keynote Lectures
Prof. Raymond Sterling (Louisiana Tech University, USA)
From the 1960s and 1970s onward, the range of underground facilities being built and the need to consider human acceptance in their design expanded greatly both in China and elsewhere around the world. Today, land pressures and urban quality of life issues are pushing many cities globally to plan for a more systematic and expanded use of the underground. What can we learn from some of the examples of modern underground facilities that now have more than 20-40 years of operating experience? Are they fulfilling their intended purpose and do users or occupants accept the underground environment? What has been the experience with technical issues such as waterproofing, humidity, energy use? This could focus attention in new designs on the issues that have been problematic in the past. The presentation will provide information currently being gathered from facilities across China and on assessments from published literature on a variety of types of facilities worldwide.
Prof. Aurèle Jean Parriaux (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland)
Up to now, the DEEP-CITY methodology was applied to different cities around the world. In all cases the geographical context corresponded to rather low altitude areas. Recently the Bagnes Community contacted us to start a DEEP-CITY operation in the famous ski station of Verbier. In such a case, the environmental context is very different:
-Altitudes comprised between 1400 and 1800 m
-Cold climate in winter
-Steep slopes submitted to erosion and landslides
-Very difficult geological conditions due to the alpine collision
-High standard of tourism, very high price of land for building.
Another important characteristic is the seasonal variation of population, between 10000 and 60000 inhabitants. This affects the infrastructures that must be designed for such fluctuations.
A multidisciplinary team was constituted to perform this research. Geologists to edit a 3D geological model and to define the matrix of parameters that characterize each geological volume below the station. Then hydrogeologists to optimize groundwater protection in relationship with construction projects and urban water management. A specific difficulty is the presence of tectonic slices of gypsum inside a series of carboniferous schists that develop karstic conduits and caverns below the station. Another important challenge is the valorization of excavation material of rather deep constructions due to the high price of land. High warming capacity is needed during cold winter. The entire geothermic potential will be evaluated by energy specialists with the different technologies (geothermal probes and geostructures, deep borehole to get thermal water).
The optimization of these different potentials will lead to urbanistic long-term management plan, design of district warming infrastructures, incitements for building that will be operated by the technical services of the Bagnes Community.
Prof. Dimitris Kaliampakos
The recent decades saw a major push for the utilization of the underground space in urban areas owing to a number of factors such as growing world population, land shortage, congestion and severe air pollution. At the same time, a growing environmental awareness and need for sustainable development is gaining ground worldwide. Geosciences play an important role in underground development, because an underground structure is not something just “placed” below the surface. More often than not, an underground structure should co-operate with the underground geological environment. Technological progress and new tools have enabled geosciences and engineers to overcome limitations. Today we can claim our capability to build underground structures almost everywhere, even in the most difficult and hostile environments. However, uncertainty has always been the “Achilles heel” of the underground works, because it can result in huge cost increase. It is exactly there that modern geosciences can contribute the most. The presentation will focus on the critical contribution of geosciences and geotechnical engineers in the sustainable use of the underground space.
Dr. Johan Visser (Institute for Transport Policy Analysis, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Netherlands)
In this presentation Johan Visser discusses the developments in automating freight movement. Developing an infrastructure underground for automated freight movements could speed up these developments and supports the sustainable development of our society. He will present the long term forecasts for freight movement and will explain why the combination of electrification and automation of freight movement and putting it underground is a sustainable solution. It can reach a level of sustainability which is not possible with traditional freight transport and automated ways of transport, like drones and automated trucks. He will focus on the movement of containers to and from ports and the use of underground freight transport in urban areas. This will be illustrated with examples from the Netherlands, USA and China.
Diarmad Campbell1*,2, Stephanie Bricker1,3, Martin Smith1,3
1British Geological Survey, UK; 2ACUUS-GEO; 3Urban Geology Expert Group (EuroGeoSurveys); *(now retired)
Site-scale subsurface data are essential in urban construction projects. Far less well appreciated is the importance of subsurface data and knowledge on wider scales (city quarter, city, city-region, city-catchment) in the planning, management, sustainable development, and resilience of cities. That they should do so is increasingly important given the monumental challenges arising from rapid urbanization, and global climate change. These challenges are acknowledged in The United Nations’ (UN) 17 Sustainable Development “Global Goals” (SDGs) for "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". Many SDGs relate to cities, e.g. Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and 9 (Industry Innovation and Infrastructure), but the subsurface dimension of the goals is poorly appreciated, and dialogue between producers and potential consumers of urban sub-surface knowledge is weak. There is also growing appreciation from the New Urban Agenda (UN, 2016), that cities can be the source of solutions to, rather than the cause of, the challenges. The urban subsurface has much to offer in terms of solutions; and recent trends are promising. In Europe and Asia, national and transnational networks of geoscientists and others aim to: share data, knowledge, experience, and good practice; and use digital data standards and formats (OGC). They also aspire to influence planning, investment priorities, and high-level policy.
SUB-URBAN, funded by The European Union’s (H2020) Cooperation in Science and Technology programme (COST), established (2013-2017) “A European network to improve understanding and use of the ground beneath our cities”. With 30 signatory nations, and >250 experts, the SUB-URBAN Action (TU1206) has encouraged inter- and trans-disciplinary dialogue between providers (typically geoscientists in the private sector, government and academia) and consumers (particularly planners and city managers) of urban subsurface data and knowledge. The Action confirmed in City Studies the uncertainties and problems faced by cities due to limited awareness of their underground environment, and lack of reliable and up-to-date knowledge, at appropriate scales, and in relevant timeframes; available data are instead typically sparse and clustered. The lack of reliable baseline data, and of current groundwater and geothermal monitoring networks, is common in cities which do not rely on groundwater for drinking water and industry, while Hamburg, which does rely on its groundwater, is an exemplar of monitoring and modelling. National geological survey organizations (GSOs) who should be best able to provide and communicate urban subsurface data and knowledge, have very varying, and often weak capabilities in doing so. The need for change is clear.
SUB-URBAN’s expert groups have identified current good practice and made recommendations in subsurface data acquisition and knowledge from within the fragmented research base in Europe (e.g. in subsurface planning; data acquisition and management; 3D modelling and visualization; hydrogeological and geothermal monitoring and modelling; geotechnical data etc.). These include for example standardization and handling of digital data; low cost groundwater monitoring and other sensor networks; and the evolution from resource intensive deterministic to implicit 3/4D modelling. However, there is no unique set of guidance. Every city has unique geological and other challenges, that require flexibility to resolve. Legislation on subsurface data and knowledge can be beneficial (e.g. the Netherlands) but voluntary private/public partnerships are also productive (e.g. Glasgow, UK). National GSOs provide continuity for national subsurface data archives and modelling beyond the site scale, but assume this responsibility (e.g. universities as in Basel, Switzerland, or a city itself as in Oslo, Norway).
SUB-URBAN championed the “Virtuous Circle” to demonstrate mutual benefits that can derive from close working relationships between all parties involved in the development cycle and a highly efficient free-flow of standardized subsurface data and sharing of knowledge to underpin decisions, manage risk, and minimize costs and delays due to unforeseen ground conditions. Adapting this, a new concept, GeoCIM emerged for City Quarter to Conurbation scales of combined subsurface and above-ground models, and site- and regional-scale platforms. GeoCIM is analogous to Building Information Modelling (BIM), used widely on project-specific scales by the architecture and construction industries. The GeoCIM lifecycle makes all spatial and volumetric data relevant to planning decisions available, in a common data environment, to support strategic planning and effective delivery of infrastructure projects at each stage of the process. This will promote: holistic urban volumetric (3D) as opposed to spatial (2D) planning; identifying subsurface opportunities (space, resources, materials, foundation conditions), saving costs by reducing uncertainty in ground conditions; and with real-time data from sensors, a basis for decision-support tools for city managers (e.g. for sustainable drainage (SuDS), use of geothermal resources, etc.). To disseminate the Action’s findings and recommendations, an online toolbox was created, drawing on all its outputs (http://sub-urban.squarespace.com). It has different entry points depending on user needs (e.g. subsurface practitioners, planners, decision-makers).
SUB-URBAN formally ended in 2017, but a recently formed Urban Geology Expert Group (UGEG) of EuroGeoSurveys (EGS (comprising 38 national geological survey organizations in Europe) is building on some of its activities and especially the task of influencing higher levels of policy- and decision-making in Europe. UGEG already involves representatives from 17 countries, and is developing SUB-URBAN’s vision for “Future Cities that live sustainably and in harmony with the ground they are built on. Relevant policy at local, national and trans-national scales within the EU, underpinned by robust science evidence, will be needed to support this”.
To achieve this vision, UGEG will help to provide decision-makers with the data, science evidence and policy-advice they require to embed subsurface knowledge and understanding in urban decision-making in Europe. UGEG also aims to lead on urban issues of global importance, and focus on 3 key priority Science Topics, which are directly relevant to several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
i)Integrated Geo-City Information Modelling (GeoCIM – cf. SUB-URBAN);
ii)Geo-environmental pressures in urbanized catchments, and
iii)Geoscience communication for cities and citizens.
In parallel, other important national initiatives include the Key Registry of the Subsurface (BRO) in the Netherlands, an exemplar by the Geological Survey of the Netherlands of national scale subsurface data management and 3D modelling. This activity is underpinned by legislation requiring standardized data provision, maintenance, and mandatory consultation of the subsurface model by public projects.
In the United Kingdom, urban planning policy provides for site risk assessment (contaminated land, ground stability), implementation of Sustainable Drainage (SuDS), and minerals assessment, and has a strong focus on community-led place-making, and digitization of the planning process. The British Geological Survey (BGS) has a key role in providing the required data, environmental baselines and subsurface monitoring, 3/4D modelling, and decision-support tools for these. New environmental legislation will also require biodiversity net gain in new developments, introducing a strong natural capital focus and emphasis on healthy urban natural environment, greening and liveability. GeoCIM in the UK will have to reflect all of these new challenges in content and scale.
In Asia, China has developed exemplars of urban sub-surface modelling (Shanghai etc.) and ambition is even higher, with planned modelling of over 300 cities. This will be an inspirational advance in urban geology and subsurface planning, which is also supported by the new ACUUS-GEO working group on Urban Geology and Underground Space, based in Sino Probe Center, Beijing. ACUUS-GEO initiated The 1st International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of Underground Space in Beijing in 2018, and the Wuhan Declaration on sustainable development and utilization of underground space.
Progress is also being achieved in neighbouring Asian countries supported by partnerships under the British Geological Survey’s Official Development Assistance programme. Urban data systems, workflows and subsurface models for urban geology are being developed in:
i)Hanoi (Vietnam); studies on aggregate resource flows, geothermal potential, subsidence.
ii)Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), the first 3D city model of geology was completed in 2019: the programme is now also tackling city resilience, and Mass Transit System (MTS) planning.
iii)Varanasi (N India), 3D city modelling (the first in India) has advanced understanding of the 3D complexity beneath the city, with implications for foundation conditions and MTS planning.
Jian Chu1, Xiaohua Pan1, and Kiefer Chiam2
1Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; 2Building and Construction Authority, Singapore
This paper describes the procedure for the establishment of a 3D geological modeling and management system for Singapore based on borehole data collected by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore. More than 60,000 borehole data with geotechnical testing data were used for this project. The procedure adopted for the establishment of the 3D geological model is described. After the data were screened for errors as well as identifying and adjusting missing data in the database, SubsurfaceViewer was used to construct fence diagrams zone by zone. Different zones were connected using common boundaries. The 3D geological model was constructed using all the fence diagrams and the digital elevation model. For critical areas where changes in geological formations are involved, extra data and extra fence diagrams were used to reduce the uncertainties in the geological model. Online access of the 3D geological model and the geological database has also been established. The online access of the model and its practical applications are also introduced in this paper.