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Good Practice / Best effort


Within each topic discussed in the Sub-Urban group examples of good practice and best effort is described. Case studies will end up as guidance for planners and city partners. 

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Good Practice / Best effort


Within each topic discussed in the Sub-Urban group examples of good practice and best effort is described. Case studies will end up as guidance for planners and city partners. 

Opening up the subsurface for the cities of tomorrow

Read the summary report TU1206-WG2.0-001

The subsurface is an important constituent of the physical environment of cities. We live on top of it; building and construction have to deal with the structure and properties of the subsurface, and occasionally with the hazards it presents; and we benefit from, and in some cases are dependent, on many of its ecosystem services. Cities not only expand outward and upward, but also downward. More and more, subsurface space is being used to relieve the increasingly crowded and congested urban surface. The more use we make of subsurface space, the more surface space we free up for the one function that cannot do without daylight and fresh air: living.

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action TU1206 Sub-Urban explores sustainable use and management of the urban subsurface, and the use of subsurface information in urban planning and development. The importance of appreciating the importance of the ground beneath cities may seem self-evident, but studies by the Action’s Working Group 1 have confirmed that the urban subsurface is in fact still largely ‘out of sight, out of mind’. It does not present a daily concern to city planners and managers, and when it does, there is often trouble. The Action has identified a knowledge and communication gap between subsurface experts, urban planners and decision makers. We argue that the only possible way to bridge this gap is to provide the right type of subsurface information, in the right format, and at the right time and make sure that the people receiving the information (urban planners and decision makers) are able to understand and use the information to take decisions. The overall challenge in “Opening up the subsurface for the cities of tomorrow” is to be able to:

·         On one side - to understand and identify the city needs in order to develop/provide appropriate knowledge and products/tools for the municipality, city region, water board or other end-user, and

·         On the other side – to identify good practice and relevant technologies when mapping and modelling the subsurface of the urban areas to enable improved and sustainable use and management of the urban subsurface.

This report describes the background to, and examples of, good practice, and tools that can realize these challenges. Taking the outputs from Working Group 1 (the ‘state of the art’) as a starting point, Working Group 2 has evaluated the knowledge needed to characterise and understand the urban subsurface (including the man-made infrastructure, artificial soils, and natural geological features) by means of a variety of good practices and techniques and identified knowledge gaps. This report summarises findings on: Subsurface information and planning; Data acquisition and management; 3D geological modelling of the subsurface; Groundwater and geothermal monitoring and modelling; Geotechnical modelling and hazards; Subsurface geochemistry; and Cultural heritage. 

Taking the perspectives both of urban planning and subsurface geoscience, the report identifies urban needs, gives examples of current good practice and best efforts for a wide range of subjects: from identifying city needs; to methods to achieve, store and visualize geological and geotechnical information, and to ways in which sub-surface-related issues can be brought into urban planning. The examples provided describe practices both on municipal and national scales for different geographical settings/typologies. The report also identifies key knowledge gaps in relation to each topic. The good practices and key knowledge gaps are presented in summary tables.

We propose the Geo City Information Modelling (GeoCIM) concept, which  expands on Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the City Information Model (CIM), as a tool that can bring together effectively above- and below-ground data and knowledge at scales appropriate to city needs, and also an explicit requirement of sustainable urban planning and management.

General conclusions

Working Group 2 has, besides this summary report and a number of detailed reports, provided the essential framework for the Toolbox being developed by the COST Sub-Urban Action’s Working Group 3.

In addition to the concrete results, COST Action Sub-Urban has been successful in creating a community of practice between the geoscience and planning communities, involving cities, universities and institutes.

To some extent, the project is already improving conditions for urban subsurface planning, especially where communication, mutual understanding and awareness raising are concerned. For better impact, however, this will have to be extended to decision makers and the general public.

Assessments of cost- and time-benefits of the rationale behind the systematic inclusion of the subsurface within planning and other decision making (requiring data, databases, modelling, decision support systems, monitoring etc.) has not been undertaken here, but needs to be explored.

 

Susie mielby

WG2 Leader

Geological Survey of Denmark (GEUS)

www.geus.dk

ingelöv eriksson

WG2 co-Leader

Agency for Planning and Building Services, Oslo city

www.pbe.oslo.kommune.no

Subsurface urban planning & management - WG 2.1


Considering that one of the main objectives of WG2 is to highlight the importance of introducing geological maps and subsurface information in urban planning activities, it is imperative that those operating at the planning level (decision makers, planners, developers, contractors, etc.) understand this importance, and the influence that geology has in planning.

Subsurface urban planning & management - WG 2.1


Considering that one of the main objectives of WG2 is to highlight the importance of introducing geological maps and subsurface information in urban planning activities, it is imperative that those operating at the planning level (decision makers, planners, developers, contractors, etc.) understand this importance, and the influence that geology has in planning.

From a planner perspective, what is really important, it to make as clear as possible which Geologic characteristics pose limitations for different land uses as for example: Industrial ones; Residential/Service areas; Public Open Spaces; Non-Urban Zones; Conservation areas, etc. etc.

 

In this regard there are some questions that should be answered, throughout the process:

·         Why is it important to develop geological surveys?

·         Why should cities consider geological surveys in resource management?

·         Why should geologic resources be mandatory in planning activities?

·         Who should be involved in developing local and regional plans?

·         Which assets need to be identified and protected?

·         What can we gain by using geological information?

 

Rob van der Krogt

LEADER WG 2.1 

Geological Survey of the Netherlands (TNO-GSN)

www.tno.nl

Gillian Dick

CO-LEADER WG 2.1

Glasgow City Council, Scotland

Data acquisition & management - WG 2.2


Data acquisition & management - WG 2.2


Efficient management of Europe’s urban environments requires an efficient means of communicating existing information amongst stakeholders and effective systems that support the capture and storage of newly created data. The production and management of data can be expensive and all too frequently the information contained within the data is used only once.

Whilst advances in technology mean more of the data which is important to city management is increasingly digital there remains a large body of analogue data sources which are expensive to convert into re-usable digital formats. Financial constraints on public bodies have lead to the need to increasingly automate the digitisation of analogue datasets rather than rely on manual checking and conversion.

Databases are a key element of modern both public and private organisations. Numerous databases are designed by to hold organisation or project specific data, this results in the data being locked in numerous, isolated, incompatible databases.

Read the TU1206-WG2.2-003 Data Acquisition & Management report here

City authorities and other stakeholders in urban environments produce and have access to a greater density of data than is often the case in lesser populated areas, however, it is often very difficult to collate all relevant information together in a useful and easily communicated manner. With such a wide spectrum of stakeholder groups, each with specialist requirements and differing levels of knowledge, it is extremely challenging to provide effective communication tools that disseminate geoscience data and models as useable information. Information about the subsurface needs to be made available in ways which are appropriate to each type of consumer, from a geotechnical engineer carrying out a site investigation to a member of the public wanting to know if their house is at risk of flooding.


Arguably the biggest challenges facing those who attempt to understand urban subsurface environments is developing a reliable and affordable strategy for data acquisition, storage, management and communication. Relationships between geological properties and human processes need to be better understood, this requires a greater understanding of interdisciplinary relationships. Geological Survey Organisations (GSOs), and other public bodies, need to incorporate data from external, sometimes commercial, sources in order to see the whole picture and despite advances in technology which have resulted in more data being made available in digital formats, there remains a large body of analogue data sources which are expensive to digitize. Financial constraints on public authorities and the increasing volumes and variability of data generated means that the current labour intensive processes for acquiring subsurface data are unsustainable. In order to minimize manual processing it is necessary for newly acquired data to be captured and communicated between stakeholders using standardized digital formats that support automated processing.

Read more from the report TU1206-WG2.2-003 Data Acquisition & Management report 

 

Carl Watson

LEADER WG 2.2

British Geological  Survey (BGS)

www.bgs.ac.uk

Martin Hansen

CO-LEADER WG 2.2

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)

www.geus.dk

3D subsurface modelling & visualization - WG 2.3


3D subsurface modelling & visualization - WG 2.3


Read the report: 3D urban subsurface modelling and visualisation - a review of good practices and techniques to ensure optimal use of geological information in urban planning TU1206 WG2.3-004

This report is the result of COST Action TU1206 Working Group 2, Work package 2.3, and focusses on 3D urban subsurface modelling and visualisation. The major aims of this report are: 1) evaluating current techniques and identify good practices / best efforts in 3D geological modelling and visualisation of the urban subsurface, based on case studies, and 2) co-developing (subsurface specialists & model users) requirements for optimal use of 3D geological modelling information in specific planning and policy contexts.

Three major topics have been considered:

·         Constructing and maintaining 3D urban geological models

·         Modelling man-made ground

·         Visualising 3D urban subsurface model results

To improve the use of subsurface modelling in urban planning in the future, the following challenges have been identified:

·         The complexity of the urban subsurface, including man-made ground, combined with the level of detail of information asked for in many urban planning issues demand that geologists look beyond their traditional data sources.

·         Combined 3D property modelling of the small-scale heterogeneity of man-made deposits and natural deposits requires new modelling approaches.

·         Management of the shallow urban subsurface requires model tools that can be frequently updated to reflect the frequently changing properties and functions of the urban subsurface.

·         There is a need for dynamic (4D) urban subsurface models that can be used for real-time monitoring and incorporation of time-series data on subsurface properties.

·         It would be cost-effective to have an actively maintained, scalable geological framework model of a city available that forms a common basis for the various kinds of dedicated models of parts of the city.

·         To give subsurface information a firm position in urban planning and management, geological information will have to be presented in the right format, and at the right time. It is absolutely necessary to include the subsurface infrastructure and to combine the model with above-ground information.

 

Jeroen Schokker

LEADER WG 2.3

Geological Survey of the Netherlands (TNO-GSN)

www.tno.nl

Groundwater, geothermal modelling & monitoring - WG 2.4


The need for cities to make more effective use of the subsurface on which they stand, is increasingly being recognised in Europe and further afield to be essential for future cities to be sustainable and more resilient [1,2]. However, city planning worldwide remains largely 2D, with very few cities having any substantial subsurface planning or Masterplans – the cities of Helsinki, Montreal, Singapore being rare exceptions [3,4]. The consequences of inadequate consideration and planning of the subsurface are far-reaching, in economic, environmental and social terms. Across Europe, poor understanding of ground conditions is recognised as the largest single cause of construction project delay and overspends [5].  Management of urban groundwater and shallow geothermal energy resources is becoming increasingly important as cities are increasingly looking to use these resources to meet current and future energy and heating and water needs.  Whilst these are, alongside potential underground building space, the two most important resources for future cities, the monitoring and regulation of these resource is widely variable across Europe. 

Groundwater, geothermal modelling & monitoring - WG 2.4


The need for cities to make more effective use of the subsurface on which they stand, is increasingly being recognised in Europe and further afield to be essential for future cities to be sustainable and more resilient [1,2]. However, city planning worldwide remains largely 2D, with very few cities having any substantial subsurface planning or Masterplans – the cities of Helsinki, Montreal, Singapore being rare exceptions [3,4]. The consequences of inadequate consideration and planning of the subsurface are far-reaching, in economic, environmental and social terms. Across Europe, poor understanding of ground conditions is recognised as the largest single cause of construction project delay and overspends [5].  Management of urban groundwater and shallow geothermal energy resources is becoming increasingly important as cities are increasingly looking to use these resources to meet current and future energy and heating and water needs.  Whilst these are, alongside potential underground building space, the two most important resources for future cities, the monitoring and regulation of these resource is widely variable across Europe. 

Down load the TU1206 WG 2.4-005 Groundwater, Geothermal Modelling and Monitoring report 

For subsurface opportunities such as groundwater and geothermal energy to be realised and utilised to greatest effect to support growing city populations and infrastructure, city planners must be both aware of, and have some understanding of the resources, available data and research, and both the opportunities and risks which the resources provide to city development [6,7].  To supply this understanding to city municipalities and others, geological surveys must have robust datasets of groundwater and geothermal resources at city-scale, and the relevant knowledge and understanding from these data must be made accessible to inform subsurface planning in appropriate datasets relevant to different scale of interest in different planning stages.  What density and frequency of data are required for a robust understanding of a city’s groundwater and geothermal resources will be different in different cities, according to the complexity of the resources, and the intensity of subsurface use and demands on the resources.  Indeed, no one design of city-scale monitoring or modelling of ground-water and -heat resources is appropriate for all cities, or for all monitoring objectives.  However, the guiding principles of good practice for developing robust city-scale monitoring, and datasets are widely applicable, as are the key principles for ensuring these data inform city planning processes.

This report provides an initial review of existing examples of current practices in Europe with respect to groundwater and geothermal monitoring and modelling, as a resource for other cities to learn from and build upon.  The report also provides an overview of some of the different practices used for communicating groundwater and geothermal energy data and knowledge to inform urban planning and management. 

Section 1 of the report provides an evaluation of different good practices for generating appropriate city-scale groundwater datasets and monitoring.  Section 2 reviews the different good practices for the use, regulation, monitoring and management of shallow geothermal energy in cities.  Section 3 provides an evaluation of different good practices for modelling groundwater and shallow geothermal resources in cities of high and low data availability.  Finally, section 4 provides a discussion as to why integration of groundwater and geothermal data into subsurface planning is still a missing link in good practices within many cities.  The review provides city examples, which illustrate the guiding principles, or key points, of the different good practices discussed.  The review is not aimed to be a comprehensive review of all the good practices which exist across Europe – this is far beyond the scope and resources of the review.  The review instead forms an informed starting point for subsurface specialists and city municipalities wanting to learn about good practices related to groundwater and shallow geothermal data and knowledge.  The Sub-Urban COST Action toolbox will provide further guidance and examples when released in 2017.  

The EU COST Sub-Urban project is undertaking a review of the drivers for city-scale groundwater monitoring in urban areas; the level of urban groundwater monitoring already existing in European cities; and the amount of historical groundwater monitoring data available in cities.  The following questionnaire is designed to help inform the COST working group of urban groundwater monitoring across a wide range of European cities.

Helen Bonsor (BGS) has given an interview explaining why groundwater is important for the subsurface i cities.

Helen Bonsor

LEADER WG 2.4

British Geological Survey (BGS)

www.bgs.ac.uk

Geotechnical modelling & hazards - WG 2.5


 

 

Geotechnical modelling & hazards - WG 2.5


 

 

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 http://spatial.dcenr.gov.ie/GeologicalSurvey/GeoTechnicalViewer/index.html

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

LEADER WG 2.5

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

http://www.pgi.gov.pl/

 

Beatriz Mozo Lopez

CO-LEADER WG 2.5

Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI)

http://www.gsi.ie

 

Geochemistry - WG 2.6


EuroGeoServeys Geochemistry Expert Group has published a book on Urban Geochemical Mapping Manual: Sampling, Sample preparation, Laboratory analysis, Quality control check, Statistical processing and Map plotting. The book is written by Alecos Demetriades and Manfred Birke with contributions by The EuroGeoSurveys Geochemistry Expert Group, and is available here: Urban Geochemical Mapping Manual

Geochemistry - WG 2.6


EuroGeoServeys Geochemistry Expert Group has published a book on Urban Geochemical Mapping Manual: Sampling, Sample preparation, Laboratory analysis, Quality control check, Statistical processing and Map plotting. The book is written by Alecos Demetriades and Manfred Birke with contributions by The EuroGeoSurveys Geochemistry Expert Group, and is available here: Urban Geochemical Mapping Manual

Read the Sub-urban geochemistry report TU1206-WG2.6-007

The main need of city planners in relation to the geochemical quality of soils and subsoils is to have reasonable and representative visualisation of the data in a form, which enables them to be used effectively, and in an integrated way with other datasets (socio-economic, health, etc.).

This report, linked to Working Group 2.6 on geochemistry of the COST Action Tu1206 (Sub-Urban) focuses on near surface soils, and deeper subsoils, particularly at the quarter or city scale. It supplements the recent Urban Geochemical Mapping Manual by Demetriades and Birke with contributions from the EuroGeoSurveys Geochemical Expert Group (published in 2015) that details good practice in 2D data acquisition of topsoil.

The current state of knowledge in relation to soil geochemistry (when available) is overwhelmingly based on surface (topsoil) and very near surface sampling of subsoils. This is expressed in the form of 2D mapping, based on interpolation between sample sites. 2D topsoil acquisition is particularly well suited for addressing health issues; deeper acquisitions are needed in relation to urban (re)development, construction work and remediation of contamination. 3D geochemical knowledge, although as yet uncommon, could be very useful in optimizing urban redevelopment projects, anticipating contamination problems, and managing excavated materials (e.g. local reuse possibilities, disposal costs etc.). Because all of these aspects can have important economic, environmental and social consequences, they are considered essential for urban sustainable development. To meet these future 3D and potentially even 4D (temporal and predictive) needs, improved development of data acquisition, management, visualisation and use of these are crucial steps.

Some examples of good practice, or at least of best efforts, are illustrated by case studies. For instance, the Vienna (Austria) and Glasgow (UK) case studies illustrate urban geochemical sampling surveys. The examples of Nantes and of the French BDSolU (Base de données sur les Sols Urbains - French national database on urban soils), may be referred to as good efforts with respect to 3D geochemical databases. The example of Nantes is also suggested as an example of best effort in terms of use of 3D urban geochemical data.

Identified gaps that currently exist include the development of 3D and 4D mapping technology, geochemical data acquisition and management, and 3D representation and use of geochemical data.

 

Keywords: geochemistry, urban, subsoils, quarter, city, data management, visualization, use, drivers, knowledge, decision aid, 3D, good practice, best effort, recommendations, gaps

Read the Sub-urban geochemistry report TU1206-WG2.6-007

Cecile Le Guern

LEADER WG 2.6

The French Geological Survey (BRGM)

www.brgm.eu

Urban planning & Cultural Heritage - WG 2.7


City growth threatens sustainable development - a pattern of growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment for present and future generations (The Brundtland Commision, 1987) - of cities. Over the past decades increased urbanization has created more pressure - not only on the suburban outskirts - but also in the inner core of the cities, putting important environmental issues, such as water management and cultural heritage, under stress. 

Read more about cultural heritage in report TU1206-WG2.7-007

Cultural heritage protection is often related to surface- and groundwater management. This poses a threat, certainly in view of climate change and the current need to adaptation in urban water systems. Cultural heritage and water management in urban planning has been the goal for the Urban WATCH project (2012-2015) funded bye the Norwegian Research Council (MILJØ 2015) in collaboration between NIVA (Norwegian Institute for water research), Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) and Norwegian Institure for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR). 

The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage is responsible for the management of all archaeological and architectural monuments and sites and cultural environments in accordance with relevant legislation. They have produced an English version of the Norwegian National Standard - Requirements for environmental monitoring and investigation of cultural deposits.

Project Bryggen in Bergen, Norway

Project Bryggen is managed by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway. In 2011, the Norwegian Governement allocated 45 million kroner to stabilize cultural deposits under the buildings by raising groundwater. Visit Project Bryggen

The project has resulted in a book "Monitoring, mitigation and management, the groundwater project - safeguarding the world heritage site Bryggen in Bergen". The Bryggen World Heritage Site has been suffering from severe, long-term subsidence caused by groundwater drainage. By combining geological mapping, groundwater monitoring and modelling, along with geotechnical, geochemical and archaeological investigations, the systematic and interdisciplinary Groundwater Project has been instrumental in reestablishing groundwater levels and combating the insidious threats of subsidence and decay.

This publication presents the results from this important work, which will without doubt contribute significantly to the conservation of other UNESCO heritage sites throughout the world. - Kishore Rao, Director, Division for Heritage & World Heritage Centre.  

Urban planning & Cultural Heritage - WG 2.7


City growth threatens sustainable development - a pattern of growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment for present and future generations (The Brundtland Commision, 1987) - of cities. Over the past decades increased urbanization has created more pressure - not only on the suburban outskirts - but also in the inner core of the cities, putting important environmental issues, such as water management and cultural heritage, under stress. 

Read more about cultural heritage in report TU1206-WG2.7-007

Cultural heritage protection is often related to surface- and groundwater management. This poses a threat, certainly in view of climate change and the current need to adaptation in urban water systems. Cultural heritage and water management in urban planning has been the goal for the Urban WATCH project (2012-2015) funded bye the Norwegian Research Council (MILJØ 2015) in collaboration between NIVA (Norwegian Institute for water research), Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) and Norwegian Institure for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR). 

The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage is responsible for the management of all archaeological and architectural monuments and sites and cultural environments in accordance with relevant legislation. They have produced an English version of the Norwegian National Standard - Requirements for environmental monitoring and investigation of cultural deposits.

Project Bryggen in Bergen, Norway

Project Bryggen is managed by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway. In 2011, the Norwegian Governement allocated 45 million kroner to stabilize cultural deposits under the buildings by raising groundwater. Visit Project Bryggen

The project has resulted in a book "Monitoring, mitigation and management, the groundwater project - safeguarding the world heritage site Bryggen in Bergen". The Bryggen World Heritage Site has been suffering from severe, long-term subsidence caused by groundwater drainage. By combining geological mapping, groundwater monitoring and modelling, along with geotechnical, geochemical and archaeological investigations, the systematic and interdisciplinary Groundwater Project has been instrumental in reestablishing groundwater levels and combating the insidious threats of subsidence and decay.

This publication presents the results from this important work, which will without doubt contribute significantly to the conservation of other UNESCO heritage sites throughout the world. - Kishore Rao, Director, Division for Heritage & World Heritage Centre.  

Oslo City, Norway, with Dronning Eufemias street and the new Deichman Library under construction. 

Links:

Urban WATCH https://www.forskningsradet.no/prosjektbanken/#/project/212885/no

NIVA www.niva.no 

NIKU www.niku.no

NIBR www.nibr.no

NGU www.ngu.no

 

Hans de Beer

LEADER WG 2.7

Geological Survey of Norway (NGU)

www.ngu.no