- Associated research centers for the Urban Underground Space (ACUUS)
- Dimitris Kaliampakos, President of ACUUS (Athens) Mark Wallace, Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 16th World Conference of ACUUS in Hong Kong Tony Ho, Secretary of the Organizing Committee of the 16th World Conference of ACUUS in Hong Kong Yingxin Zhou, Director ACUUS Asia (Singapore)
As urban space became a scarce commodity in the built environment, urban developers, planners and architects are finding room for urban expansion downward, using the subsurface space as an urban canvas. Unfortunately, past practices left behind a legacy of remarkable individual achievements alongside with an overall congestion, chaos and erosion brought by the uncontrolled invasion of pipes in the subsoil of many major cities. It is largely in response to these last effects that the need is felt worldwide of rationally planning and directing the urban underground expansion.
Underground cities, tunnels, subways and public utilities can only be built safely and at reasonable cost by the local governments if based on scientific knowledge and understanding of the subsurface, within an adequate legal national property framework. Such knowledge is currently available in various scientific organizations; however, it is rarely transferred to the local authorities, particularly in developing countries.
According to the New Urban Agenda, the urbanization poses massive sustainability challenges. The urban underground space is part of the solution to implement it and may contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, including Goal 9, Goal 17 and particularly Goal 11 in making cities resilient and sustainable.
The Networking Event proposed by ACUUS (Associated Research Centers for the Urban Underground Space) will be an occasion to expose the struggles of cities and megalopolises, their advances in developing concepts of sustainability in an orderly underground space development, and to present some of the best practices through dialogue between experts, city leaders and stakeholders, and within the framework of UN-Habitat.