Geotechnical data and geohazards in city subsurface management

The rapid growth of the urban areas is pushing for a better understanding of the underground. Across Europe, the underground is hardly taken into consideration in the city planning process and this can lead in many times in project deadlines delays and or unexpected problems which end up in over spending. The main factors of mentioned problems come mostly from lack of information about the subsoil and limited awareness about presence of various geohazards in the area of city development.

Main sources of information about the city subsurface are the geological surveys databases, maps and geological models. Such databases contain also information and maps of geohazards. However in city areas there is also big amount of data about the underground space in form of geotechnical data.

City spatial planning must also take into account the areas of existing and potential geohazards. Geological hazards have a tendency to reveal itself during construction process or during the building exploitation period. Missing the geohazards identification during the process of spatial planning results in severe problems, leading to large material losses, damages in city infrastructure and even injuries and death. The destructive force of geohazards is very high, although their occurence is local and often periodic.

There is a lot of information about geohazards available in national geological surveys databases and inventories, which should be taken into account during spatial planning process. On the other hand the awareness of the impact of geological hazards among the planners and stakeholders is relatively low, so city plans often miss this issue or cover it in a limited way.


Case studies are described and reports will be available. The case studies are;

Ireland, Dublin, GSI, geotechnical data collection and usage.

Link to the geotechnical viewer

Belgium, original database of subsoil for Flandres (DOV database)

Poland, PGI-NRI, engineering geological database. Webpage for database

UK, Glasgow, geotechnical database and modelling, ASK project, BGS. Link to ASK webpage

Turkey, Web based GIS project for land subsidence  monitoring in Konya Basin

Macedonia, landslides in urban environment


Geotechnical Questionnaire

17 countries has contributed in a questionnaire about availability of geotechnical data.  


Grzegorz Ryzynski


Polish Geological Institute & National Research Institute (PGI-NRI)


Beatriz Mozo Lopez


Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI)