The Urban Subsurface - from Geoscience and Engineering to Spatial Planning and Management

Urban Subsurface Planning and Management Week, SUB-URBAN 2017, 13-16 March 2017, Bucharest, Romania. Volume 209, Pages 1–224  (2017) 

Edited by Constantin Radu Gogu, Diarmad Campbell, Johannes de Beer. Complete proceedings is available here:


PREFACE: The Urban Subsurface – from Geoscience and Engineering to Spatial Planning and Management 

By Constantin Radu Gogu, Diarmad Campbell, Johannes de Beer (2017). Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 1–3.

With the growing global population and increasing urbanization worldwide, sustainable urban development is now one of the greatest challenges faced by the modern world. This is acknowledged in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". Of the 17 "Global Goals", Goal 11 is Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Goal 6 is the related Clean Water and Sanitation
Goal. Despite these goals, the potential importance, and contribution, of the subsurface to sustainable urban development, and clean water and sanitation, is often unrecognized, or misunderstood, and at worst ignored.
Most cities around the world face issues related to geology and urban hydrogeology in particular, requiring attention at least as much as those provided by other planning related problems in urban areas. Currently, European cities face many consequences resulting from a lack of accurate and detailed knowledge of the underground environment and the interaction between the urban groundwater and urban infrastructure. These are core themes of this Special Issue.
The papers in this Special Issue emanate from the “Urban Subsurface Planning and Management Week” – SUBURBAN 2017 - held in Bucharest, Romania from the 13 to 16 March 2017 and hosted by the Groundwater Engineering Research Center of the Technical University of Civil Engineering, Bucharest, Romania.

Download paper: The Urban Subsurface – from Geoscience and Engineering to Spatial Planning and Management


Transforming The Relationships Between Geoscientists and Urban Decision-Makers: European Cost Sub-Urban Action (TU1206)

By Diarmad Campbell, Johannes de Beer, Susie Mielby, Ignace van Campenhout, Michiel van der Meulen, Ingelöv Erikkson, Guri Ganerod, David Lawrence, Mario Bacic, Alex Donald, Constantin Radu Gogu, Jan Jelenek. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 4–11

The European COST Sub-Urban Action (TU1206) has had the fundamental aim of closing the knowledge gap between subsurface experts and potential users of subsurface knowledge - urban decision- makers, practitioners and researchers. The Action assembled a network involving >30 countries, 23 actively participating cities, researchers, practitioners and urban decision-makers, and brought together the fragmented research and good practice across Europe in sustainable urban sub-surface use. Development of national exemplars has been encouraged, and good practice identified to inspire others, using a lighthouse-follower approach to cascade knowledge and good practice across Europe and further afield.
Experts from both sides of the knowledge gap were brought together to assess and synthesise the state-of-the-art in lighthouse cities with respect to urban sub-surface knowledge, understanding, and use of that knowledge. This was achieved in 19 City Studies, with findings encapsulated in an over-view report “Out of Sight - Out of Mind”.

Download paper: Transforming the relationships between geoscientists and urban decision-makers: European COST Sub-Urban Action (TU1206)


Opening up the subsurface for the cities of tomorrow The subsurface in the planning process

By Susie Mielby, Ingelöv Eriksson, S. Diarmad G. Campbell, David Lawrence. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 12–25

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action TU1206 Sub-Urban has explored sustainable use and management of the urban subsurface, and the use of subsurface information in urban planning and development. A part of the Action (Working Group 1) has assessed the ‘state-of-art’ in cities; another part (Working Group 2) has evaluated practices and techniques. Both have considered access to subsurface knowledge in cities. A network was established by the Action with more than 100 participants in total; and in Working Group 2, there were more than 50 participants. Working Group 2 has resulted in 6 full reports and a summary report. The Action’s Working Group 1 undertook comprehensive city studies. These established that the subsurface was in effect virtually ‘Out of mind, out of sight’ with respect to planning and management and there was a significant knowledge gap to fill. The task for Working Group 2 was to improve this situation. This paper is based on the work drawn together in the Working Group 2 Summary report ‘Opening up the subsurface for the cities of tomorrow’. This deals with good practices in urban subsurface planning and management; and how the urban subsurface planning and management processes can be improved in the future.

Download paper: Opening up the subsurface for the cities of tomorrow The subsurface in the planning process


Urban Geochemistry: from 2D to 3D

By C. Le Guern. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 26–33

The current state of knowledge in relation to soil and subsoil 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 geochemical sampling is required more typically 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.

Download paper: Urban Geochemistry: from 2D to 3D


Good practices in cultural heritage management and the use of subsurface knowledge in urban areas

By Johannes de Beer & Floris Boogaard. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 34–41

City growth threatens sustainable development 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. Cultural heritage, either standing monuments or archaeological remains, is internationally recognized as an important legacy of our history. The European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage incorporates concepts and ideas that have become accepted practice in Europe. Conservation and enhancement of archaeological heritage is one of the goals of urban planning policies. One of the key objectives of the European policy is to protect, preferably in-situ, archaeological remains buried in the soil or seabed and to incorporate archaeological heritage into spatial planning policies. Conflicts with prior uses and unappreciated impacts on other subsurface resources, amongst them archaeological heritage, make use of underground space in cities suboptimal. In terms of ecosystem services, the subsurface environment acts either as a carrier of archaeological heritage in situ (stewardship) or supports above-ground cultural heritage. Often, it’s not enough to protect the heritage site or monument itself: new developments outside a specific protected area can lead to changes in groundwater level, and cause serious damage to heritage buildings and archaeological deposits. This paper presents good practices in cultural heritage management and the use of subsurface knowledge in urban areas.

Download paper: Good practices in cultural heritage management and the use of subsurface knowledge in urban areas


The underground of European cities in planning documents: the case of A Coruña (Spain)

By Rubén C. Lois González, Beatriz Moar Ulloa, Miguel Pazos Otón. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 42–48

The knowledge of the underground is a key issue for cities in the beginning of the 21st century. So far, only very few european cities have included the underground in their planning documents and management. There is an evident gap between north and south of Europe, as it was clear in the COST SUBURBAN action, carried out by a consortium of 29 different european countries. In this action, several case studies from different parts of Europe were examined, including the sucessful cases of Rotterdam, Glasgow, Oslo, Hamburg, Odense and others, all of them in Northern Europe. Spain was represented by the case of A Coruña, a coastal city in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. This text focus on the analysis of the level of development between urban
planning and the knowledge of the underground. In particular, attention is paid to the treatment of the underground in the current planning and its importance in urbanism and local planning.

Download paper: The underground of European cities in planning documents: the case of A Coruña (Spain)


Cities Think Underground – Underground Space (also) for People

By Jacques Besner. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 49–55

The ACUUS, the Associated research Centers for the Urban Underground Space, was established in Montreal in 1997 to promote partnership amongst all actors involved in the planning, design, construction, management and research on urban underground space. To explain how ACUUS has become an international organization over the years, and recognized by UN-Habitat, the evolution of global attention on underground space since the 19th century, with the gradual arrival of national and international organizations dedicated to the underground. Based on personal experience as a municipal planner, ways in which urban underground space should be planned and managed are described. The underground should be a place for people as much as for tunnels and public utilities. Montreal Underground City, one of the largest of its kind in the world, is used to demonstrate how, since 1962, underground use can evolve and the sub-surface can be “humanized”. Some global trends are described, and challenges that need to be overcome in order to “populate” the underground, are also highlighted.

Download paper: Cities Think Underground – Underground Space (also) for People


Flood model Bergen Norway and the need for (sub-)surface INnovations for eXtreme Climatic EventS (INXCES)

By Floris Boogaard, Jeroen Kluck, Michael Bosscher, Govert Schoof. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 56–60

Urban flooding has become a key issue for many cities around the world. The project ‘INnovations for eXtreme Climatic EventS’ (INXCES) developed new innovative technological methods for risk assessment and mitigation of extreme hydroclimatic events and optimization of urban water-dependent ecosystem services at the catchment level. DEMs (digital elevation maps) have been used for more than a decade now as quick scan models to indicate locations that are vulnerable to urban flooding. In the last years the datasets are getting bigger and multidisciplinary stakeholders are becoming more demanding and require faster and more visual results. In this paper, the development and practical use of DEMs is exemplified by the case study of Bergen (Norway), where
flood modelling using DEM is carried out in 2017 and in 2009. We can observe that the technology behind tools using DEMs is becoming more common and improved, both with a higher accuracy and a higher resolution. Visualization tools are developed to raise awareness and understanding among different stakeholders in Bergen and around the world. We can conclude that the evolution of DEMS is successful in handling bigger datasets and better (3D) visualization of results with a higher accuracy and a higher resolution. With flood maps the flow patterns of stormwater are analysed and locations are selected to implement (sub-)surface measures as SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage systems) that store and infiltrate stormwater. In the casestudy Bergen the following (sub-)surface SuDS have been recently implemented with the insights of DEMS: settlement storage tank, rainwater garden, swales, permeable pavement and I/T-drainage. The research results from the case study Bergen will be shared by tools to stimulate international knowledge exchange. New improved DEMs and connected (visualization) tools will continue to play an important role in (sub-)surface flood management and climate resilient urban planning strategies around the world.

Download paper: Flood model Bergen Norway and the need for (sub-)surface INnovations for eXtreme Climatic EventS (INXCES)


Drawing the subsurface: an integrative design approach

By F.L. Hooimeijer, F. Lafleur, T.T. Trinh. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 61–74

The sub-surface, with its man-made and natural components, plays an important, if not crucial, role in the urban climate and global energy transition. On the one hand, the sub-surface is associated with a variety of challenges such as subsidence, pollution, damage to infrastructure and shortages of space for new urban systems. On the other hand, the sub-surface presents opportunities in terms of solutions for flooding, reduction in heat stress, and decentralized energy systems. Therefore, it is necessary to place sub-surface issues in their appropriate perspective, to enable a more resilient design that brings together ecosystem services, climate and urban systems, and which takes full account of the dynamics of the subsoil. To achieve this, the sub-surface must be an integral part of above ground planning and design. Organization of the sub-surface needs to be reflected visually in relation to - consideration of (surface) spatial morphology. The objective of this paper is to question the role of architectural representation of the subsurface. Discussion of architectural representation should include ‘design thinking’. An important element of design thinking is the concepts that are used to guide the design process. For this reason, this research tests the role of visualization in relation to a case from the Dutch context and more specifically to subsidence. The approach is built on a systematic processing of contextual information of the site under development, using the System Exploration Environment, Subsurface and results in a Technical Profile. Using input from subsurface specialists to rethink the urban landscape results in realisation of synergies between subsurface elements and the (re)design of vital urban infrastructure.

Download paper: Drawing the subsurface: an integrative design approach


Development of a 3D geological/hydrogeological model targeted at sustainable management of the urban water cycle in Odense City, Denmark

By Susie Mielby & Peter B.E. Sandersen

Many urban areas in Denmark are facing rising groundwater levels due to decreasing groundwater abstraction, greater rainfall and rising sea level due to climate change. Therefore, solutions for handling excess surface water and groundwater in urban areas are needed. To ensure a good background for a continued and sustainable handling of the urban water cycle, special attention has to be paid to the development of geological/hydrogeological models of the subsurface as a basis for management and planning.
A 3D geological/hydrogeological modelling tool for handling the urban water cycle within Odense City has been setup in a collaborative effort involving authorities and private stakeholders. With Odense City as a pilot area the developed tools and the gained experience has been made available for other cities facing similar challenges. This paper introduces the Odense Model, presents the major project considerations during the construction, and briefly presents the model results, the developed tools for urban planning/management and the project considerations concerning the continued use and maintenance of the model.

Download paper: Development of a 3D geological/hydrogeological model targeted at sustainable management of the urban water cycle in Odense City, Denmark


Thermal management of urban subsurface resources - Delineation of boundary conditions

By Jannis Epting. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 83–91

Shallow subsurface resources are progressively used for the production of geothermal energy, i.e. for the installation and operation of a broad variety of Geothermal Energy Systems (GES). Additionally, in many urban areas there is a surplus of heat from large buildings and constructions reaching into the groundwater saturated zone. Likewise, groundwater is more often used as a cheap cooling medium. As a result, significantly increased subsurface temperatures have been observed in many urban areas. 
Several studies investigated how the so-called "Subsurface Urban Heat Island" (SUHI) effect and how current thermal subsurface regimes developed. However, a sustainable management of subsurface resources requires a general understanding on how “current thermal states” of subsurface and thermal regimes developed in context of different urban settings and boundary conditions. These aspects yet are mostly unexplored. In practice mitigation measures are generally taken for individual projects. Thereby, a consideration of the broader context of hydrogeological and thermal processes and boundaries and the interacting thermal activities could lead to a more sustainable use of subsurface energy resources.
Besides providing an overview of subjects related to the thermal management of urban subsurface resources this review paper summarizes the results from different research projects that have been realized in the densely urbanised area of Basel in northwestern Switzerland.

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Numerical modelling as a tool for optimisation of ground water exploitation in urban and industrial areas

By Nada Rapantova, Jiri Tylcer, David Vojtek. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 92–99

of protection options for the important groundwater resource of the City of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. The resource is threatened by the impacts of long-term contaminant releases from a number of industrial enterprises in its neighbourhood. Due to the complex hydrogeological settings and man-made impacts, effective protection of the Nova Ves groundwater resource requires careful co-ordination of mitigation measures at individual sites.
It was proved that long-term pumping intensity (140 l/s) does not guarantee protection of the water quality. A reduction in the pumped discharge to 120 l/s was recommended. To ensure the long-term water quality in the water withdrawal area without any restriction on pumping discharge, a reduction in ammonium in the vadose zone by the 50 % would be required. However, so far, no remediation activities have been started.

Download paper: Numerical modelling as a tool for optimisation of ground water exploitation in urban and industrial areas


Management of the groundwater resource beneath the city of Ljubljana

By Mitja Janža. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 100–103

Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia. It has been developed in the vicinity of the Sava River on an alluvial plain that for more than a century has been used as a local resource for drinking water. Thanks to the natural hydrogeological conditions and protection measures, the groundwater beneath the city is still the city’s main resource of drinking water. The city’s growing energy demands initiated the search for new alternative sources of energy which could contribute to the reduction of CO2 and other health hazardous emissions. In this respect, the ground beneath the city, the groundwater especially, offers favorable conditions for the implementation of ground-source heat pump systems, which represent one of the key technologies of renewable energy for heating and cooling. The city’s future challenges regarding the subsurface will be related to the sustainable and efficient use of all resources and the avoidance of conflicts in their mutual use, in which drinking water resources will be of paramount concern.

Download paper: Management of the groundwater resource beneath the city of Ljubljana


Odense – A City with Water Issues

By Gert Laursen & Johan Linderberg. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 104–118

In the City of Odense we have plenty of water issues, but we do not have any real “burning platforms” that can turn the focus of our politicians and other relevant people in our direction. We experience pressure from all sides: Annual mean precipitation have increased 100 mm (15%) during the last 140 year. Extreme rains occur more often and they are becoming more intense. Surface runoff causing flooding in streams and rivers or from storm surges in the fjord area. Sometimes both occur at the same time. Rising groundwater level caused by increased recharge, diminishing needs for potable water / lesser water abstraction and by reducing the amount of excessive waters, e.g by restoring leaky sewers, which hereby stop acting as drains.
In this article, we will highlight some of the issues we encounter as seen from two different parties with their own points of view. On one side there is the municipal authority and on the other the water and wastewater company. One of the greater issues during the last several decades is the rising groundwater level beneath the city. The quality of this groundwater is also slowly deteriorating. This is of growing concern for both parties. The cause of these problems stem from many different activities that either interact or counteract each other. They can be divided into natural conditions and those caused by human activities. Examples of natural conditions are geology, geography, climate and relief difficulties. The human activities are urban development, exploitation of
resources (groundwater abstraction, gravel excavation, drainage), infiltration, SUDS. One of the key elements is that the natural conditions and the human activities often act in conjunction, causing greater problems rather than less problems.
The rapid and expanding urbanization during the 20th century, have forced a deployment of well fields from early urban locations to more rural locations. This have affected the groundwater level beneath the city, so it is significantly higher today. Urbanization also affects the natural water cycle by increasing and accelerating the surface runoff, which puts further strain on the older joint sewage system under the central parts of the city, causing local flooding during heavy rains. When you consider the predicted climate changes in the future with increased intensity and volumes of water, these problems will only become worse.

Download paper: Odense – A City with Water Issues


An overview of ground surface displacements generated by groundwater dynamics, revealed by InSAR techniques

By A. Radutua, I. Nedelcua, C.R.Gogu. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 119–126

One of the main activities causing subsidence in the urban environment is the dynamics of groundwater due to abstraction and recharge as well as its interaction with subsurface infrastructure systems. For a sustainable spatial planning, the complexity of urban environment demands the utilisation of new methods for monitoring and quantifying the effects of the underground processes. One of the remote sensing methods developed in the last decades, offering the opportunity for early detection of land subsidence in urban areas is the interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). By its different techniques, this method started to be used in correlation with several underground and ground measurements for revealing diverse parameters characterizing the dynamics of groundwater, including seasonal and long-term aquifer-system response. Considering both groundwater and underground structures, an overview of several studies realised in different sites, based on InSAR techniques, is presented.

Download paper: An overview of ground surface displacements generated by groundwater dynamics, revealed by InSAR techniques


Snowmelt modelling aspects in urban areas

By Roxana-Gabriela Dobre, Dragos Stefan Gaitanaru, Constantin Radu Gogu. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 127–134

Urban winter hydrology is generally poorly understood, despite the large number of cities which have annual seasonal snow cover and there are only few studies about urban snow and snowmelt rates in the cities. Two specific factors affecting the snow melting rate in urban areas are the degree of urbanization and the urban snow distribution. The net radiation balance of urbanised catchments differs from their rural counterparts. The choice of a snowmelt model for a particular application depends on data availability and snow characteristics. A review of attributes of common snowmelt models is presented for evaluation and selection of the best suited model for simulating snowmelt in a specific area. In snowmelt computations, the challenge is to identify a suitable model for the heterogeneous urban conditions from the existing model categories as TIM, EBM, or their combination as a hybrid method. For rural environments, empirical methods (TIM) have been demonstrated to reproduce a large part of the snowpack variations at both open and forested areas. For heterogeneous urban environments, it is necessary to apply an EBM in order to take into account all the characteristics of urban snow. Snow properties such as density and albedo vary both between urban and rural areas as well as between different urban locations belonging to the same urban agglomeration.

Download paper: Snowmelt modelling aspects in urban areas


Urban hydrogeology studies in Bucharest City, Romania

By Constantin Radu Gogua, Dragos Gaitanaru, Mohamed Amine Boukhemacha, Irina Serpescu, Liviu Litescu, Valentin Zaharia, Alexandru Moldovan, Madalin J. Mihailovici. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 135–142

Bucharest, a city of about 1.9 million inhabitants and covering a surface of about 228 km2, faces two main hydrogeological problems. Both are results of the interaction between the aquifer system and the underground infrastructure. The first problem consists in the barrier effect produced by the extensively channelized Dambovita River that cuts Bucharest city in two parts, increasing consequently the groundwater hydraulic heads. The second problem is actually a twofold concern and it is due to the strong hydraulic interaction between the sewer system and the groundwater. As consequence, the seepage into the sewer network increases the wastewater flow rates. Restoration of its conduits triggers consequently the hydraulic heads increase in several
residential areas of the city. A Bucharest city urban hydrogeology project has been built, it’s primary milestone being the urban groundwater numerical flow model. This focuses on the interaction between the urban infrastructure and the groundwater system. The resulted hydrological water balance outlined that, for the entire Bucharest sewer network, about 0.92 m3/s wastewater surplus originates from the groundwater seepage. It has been also determined that about 16.9km (3.5%) of the sewer network is completely immersed into the groundwater and about 79.8km (16.5%) is partially immersed. The urban hydrogeological model framework is currently used to carry out distinct hydrogeological studies related to the city sewer system rehabilitation, infrastructure
developments, groundwater protection, and environmental impact. The feedback from these studies increase further the city scale model knowledge and accuracy. A direct hydraulic connection between the surface water and the groundwater has been systematically confirmed.

Download paper: Urban hydrogeology studies in Bucharest City, Romania


Bucharest city urban groundwater monitoring system

By Dragos Gaitanaru,Constantin Radu Gogu, Mohamed Amine Boukhemacha, Liviu Litescu, Valentin Zaharia, Alexandru Moldovan, Madalin J. Mihailovici. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 143–147

Bucharest City is the capital of Romania and also the biggest city. Situated in an alluvial plane, the geological settings are represented by a series of overlaying Quaternary strata of aquifers and aquitards. Some of these aquifers are used for water supply (the deeper aquifers) and the shallow and medium ones are characterized by an intense interaction with the urban infrastructure. 

The paper presents the drivers and also the architecture of the urban groundwater monitoring systems developed in the last years in order to observe the urban impact upon the first two aquifers layers. The anatomy of the system is correlated with the urban infrastructure. Also the paper presents the future monitoring system that will be develop within a European JPI project.

Download paper: Bucharest city urban groundwater monitoring system


The integration of groundwater protection into land-use planning, certification and standardization of quality of urban supply systems

By Alberto Jiménez-Madrid, Carlos Martínez-Navarrete, Pedro Jiménez-Fernández. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 148–155

Groundwater is an essential resource for water supply. For this reason, it is necessary to integrate and harmonise efforts to protect groundwater quality with socio-economic activities and existing land-use patterns in any given region, as well as complying with the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. In addition, land management seeks to coordinate and harmonise policies with regional impacts. Water—as a public good and an essential resource for the development of life and the evolution of populations—needs to become one of the main pillars of management for a variety of regional policies. Therefore, water resources planning does not make sense without firstly considering forecasted land management patterns. The objective of this work is to standardize the process of managing the supply systems and prove their quality by certification. This will require guaranteeing the sustainable management and obtaining the certificate. During this long process, there may be complications that prevent achievement of the ultimate objective. For this, it is necessary to promote a standardization tool, which will value the efforts of the various agencies involved in the protection and management of groundwater used for human consumption in achieving sustainable management of water resources.

Download paper: The integration of groundwater protection into land-use planning, certification and standardization of quality of urban supply systems


Improvement of the Water Infrastructure in Central Moldova

By Eduard Dinet, Gabriel Racoviteanu, Alexandru Jercan. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 156–163

Selection of the optimum solution for drinking waer supply is very difficult operation, considering the constraints generated by presence of many factors which influence the selection process. In order to select the optimal solution multi-criterial analyses have to be performed, considering technical, institutional, environmental and financial aspects for each analyzed option. Such an analysis was carried out for the development of a water supply system for all localities of two rayons, Calarasi and Straseni, located in the central area of the Republic of Moldova.

Download paper: Improvement of the Water Infrastructure in Central Moldova


Regional water supply of the localities from the border of the Black Sea

By Alexandru Nicolae Jercan, Gabriel Racoviteanu, Eduard Dinet. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 164–171

In the context of the ongoing worldwide efforts directed to achieving environmental sustainability by mitigating environmental challenges and reversing the depletion of the environmental resources, the work presented in this paper has the purpose to identify the most effective solution for ensuring access to good quality drinking water for the localities in the southern part of Constanta County, Romania. At present, the communities in the analyzed area are using drinking water abstracted from ground water sources which have registered continuous quality degradation over the last 30 years, while the water losses in the water supply systems are high. As the existing water treatment facilities are unable to remove the pollutants found in the raw water (ammonia, nitrates, Iron and Manganese), within a complex regional project which aims at the same time for reduction of water losses and reaching drinking water quality compliance, a comprehensive analysis was prepared, in order to identify the most efficient solution for supplying the localities at the border of the Black Sea with sufficient and appropriate quality water.
This paper shows the systematic approach used for conducting the options analysis in which there have been considered different applicable solutions ranging from decommissioning the existing sources and construction of a regional water supply local treatment, to keeping the existing sources and construction of new appropriate treatment facilities or blending water from multiple sources. The conducted analysis has revealed that the most feasible option for long term sustainability of water supply is the construction of a regional water supply system supplied by a very good quality wellfield with additional flow input from an existing water treatment plant having spare capacity available.

Download paper: Regional water supply of the localities from the border of the Black Sea


Progresses in the operation and functioning of pumping stations for water and wastewater networks

By Perju Sorin, Alexandru Aldea, Mihailovici Mădălin. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 172–179

Simultaneously with the social and economical transformations within urban areas, the operating and functioning conditions for all the components of water and wastewater systems have modified in a specific manner in each area. 
One important aspect of these changes is the adjustment of pumping stations operating parameters to the new water network demands so that the operating costs of these pumping stations achieve a sustainable level for the water companies.
In this context, the paper presents the results recorded by upgrading and rehabilitating the pumping stations for an urban water network with a primary goal of diminishing the operation and maintenance costs and a secondary goal of reducing the water losses in the water distribution network.

Download paper: Progresses in the operation and functioning of pumping stations for water and wastewater networks


Use of Benchmarking For the Improvement of the Operation of the Drinking Water Supply Systems

By Radu Stefan Rautu, Gabriel Racoviteanu, Eduard Dinet. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 180–187

An effective way to identify the main elements that can provide an image about the efficiency of a system is to compare your performance level with that of another similar system. Therefore, water and wastewater systems need a wide and reliable database that can provide such a comparison. The water and wastewater sector has become interested in the implementation of this management technique in the last two decades, in order to improve the performance of the companies in the sector, an also the Romanian operators has started the benchmarking exercise, in order to find ways to improve their own efficiency. The results of the benchmark exercise are presented in the paper, and also first conclusions drawn from the first benchmarking process.

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Climate change adaptation in urban areas. Case study for the Tineretului area in Bucharest

By Mihai Stancu, Maria Cheveresan, Valentin Zaharia, Tudor Poienariu. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 188–194

Urban drainage systems are loaded directly by precipitation and snow melting processes and their hydraulic capacity must be sufficient to be able to convey the water volumes without discharging to the surface causing flooding. Urban drainage systems are also affected by the groundwater levels by increasing the water volumes that are transported through the system. The receiving waters may also be affected by climate change in terms of higher water levels which can have significant back water effects and reduced outlet discharge capacity in the urban drainage system.
Climate change may lead to an increased groundwater level which affects the urban drainage system by additional volumes infiltrated into the sewer from the underground. This infiltration may lead to a reduction of the hydraulic capacity of the collection system and in increased pressure over the wastewater treatment plant. The increased groundwater level can affect the percolation process and may lead to local flooding and reduced hydraulic capacity in the urban drainage system.

Download paper: Climate change adaptation in urban areas. Case study for the Tineretului area in Bucharest


Subsurface dynamic evaluation to identify old quarries in urban areas: Lisbon city case study

By J. Cunha, L. M.S. Gonçalves, F. Aguilera, P. A. Roldan, C. Pinto. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 195–201

The urban expansion over the last century in Lisbon has created a lot of pressure in the suburbs leading to construction taking place in less favourable terrains. These areas were also occupied by an extensive mining industry, for the extraction of massive limestones for building and ornamental stone that had an important role for the reconstruction of Lisbon after the earthquake of 1755. Due to its heavily urbanized landscape in the last century, the terrain
morphology is often changed by non-natural processes such as excavations and landfill deposits and nowadays the exact location where these exploitations took place is unknown leading to potential risk situations for buildings, infrastructures and the local population. The aim of this study was to perform a detailed subsurface dynamic analysis to locate the quarries and their landfill material thickness. For that, cartographic and topographic information dating
from 1911, 1950, 1970, 2012 were used to create digital terrain models which allowed the terrain morphology changes to be identified and the volume of landfill materials to be obtained. This study enables the Town Hall to create constraints in land use in their Master Plan and other planning instruments to reduce cost increases and the risk of hazards.

Download paper: Subsurface dynamic evaluation to identify old quarries in urban areas: Lisbon city case study


Use of electric resistivity tomography (ERT) for detecting underground voids on highly anthropized urban construction sites

By Constantin Ungureanu, Adrian Priceputu, Adrian Liviu Bugea, Anton Chirică. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 202–209

The current paper presents the use of ERT geophysical investigations performed on a construction site to investigate the presence of underground voids (old basements, embedded pipes etc.) that can cause safety and technological issues during future construction works. The data acquisition was based on 4 ERT profiles placed along the area were underground voids were expected. Some acquisition and processing challenges were encountered and the applied solutions are presented herein. The anomalies presented on profiles recorded with different electrode arrays (Wenner, Schlumberger, Dipole-Dipole) show the presence of underground voids, but the position and size cannot be determined exactly, so a reliability based approach is employed to characterize the result.

Download paper: Use of electric resistivity tomography (ERT) for detecting underground voids on highly anthropized urban construction sites


Dewatering system of a deep of excavation in urban area – Bucharest case study

By Nicoleta Calin , Cristian Radu, Ioan Bica. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 210–215

Many excavations for basement construction will encounter groundwater. If not suitably managed and controlled, groundwater can cause problems for excavation and the buried structures themselves. These problems can range from nuisance seepages that reduce the efficiency of construction operations, through to major inflows that can result in instability, flooding and even collapse of the excavation.
Groundwater can be a significant problem when excavating for basement construction. However, with good planning and the use of suitable methods groundwater need not be a major obstacle.
If an excavation is made without suitable groundwater control various problems can result:

  •  the excavation may flood as a result of groundwater inflows from water-bearing layers of soil or rocks.
  • high pore water pressures in batter slopes at the sides of the excavation may lead to instability or seepage erosion.
  • groundwater uplift pressures beneath the floor of an excavation can give the risk of a base heave or piping failure in the base of the excavation.
  • groundwater pressures can cause excessive hydrostatic loads on excavation retaining structures such as concrete pile walls.

Dewatering methods (also known as groundwater control methods) can be used to control groundwater and avoid these problems. This is an especial problem when excavating in water-bearing soil (such as sands and gravels) or fissured rock (such as chalk or sandstone). Without suitable control measures, inflows of groundwater can flood excavations or tunnels, and can also lead to instability when the soils or rock around the excavation weaken and collapse – either locally or on a large scale. The current modern techniques allow the execution of the deep excavations in the urban zones in more difficult geotechnical and hydrogeological conditions.

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Using georadar systems for mapping underground utility networks

By Aurel Sărăcin. Procedia Engineering 209 (2017) 216–223

The transport infrastructure development in big cities leads to design underground road passages for fluidity of traffic. Under these conditions it is necessary to divert the underground utilities routes. Also, the construction of new metro sections is an alternative to public transport from the surface. New modern office and residential buildings, as well as new commercial complexes, require new underground utility projects.
In these circumstances, design studies require investigations about underground utility networks, in order to avoid the damage in execution operations of new construction foundations works. These investigations allow the design of metro lines and metro station avoiding major waterways, sewers, gas or electric cables, or design first the deviation project for these underground utility networks. Georadar systems together with advanced positioning surveying, assisted by specialized software, allow fast mapping, nondestructive and precise, very useful to designers for types of construction mentioned above. This system becomes a necessity in terms of urban agglomerations in growing today.
This article refers to modern systems Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), to software for taking over of field information and to postprocessing software that lead to obtaining 3D georeferenced digital map products, integrated into a GIS.

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1Игор Пешевски,  2 Diarmad Campbell,  3Милорад Јовановски 


The Third Congress of Geologists of the Republic of Macedonia is taking place in Struga, organized by the Macedonian Geological Society and “Gocve Delchev” University of Shtip and supported by a number of companies and partners.

In the context of the long tradition of geological science and the current momentum, the key topics of the Congress relate to: Geology and science, Fundamental geology and Geology and economy.

Papers submitted to the Congress were compiled and printed in Collection presenting 105 original scientific works prepared by more than 350 authors and co-authors from Macedonia and abroad, on more than 700 pages. Their content reflects the connection between traditional research methods and application of new modern technologies and tools in geological explorations, including also the state of the art field and laboratory instrumental methods, systems for data processing and keeping, as well as environmental parameters monitoring.


the role of the subsurface in urban water management

De Beer, Johannes (2015), presentation on the role of the subsurface in urban water management at NORDIWA2015, Nordic Water and Sewage conference, November 6, 2015. Download presentation.

urban geology and subsurface data management

De Beer, Johannes (2015), presentation at seminar by International Association for Hydrogeologists on urban geology and subsurface data management, Oslo, Norway, October 8, 2015. Download presentation.

urban geology and water management

De Beer, Johannes (2015), presentation at Seminar on Water and Wood seminar in Bergen on urban geology and water management, Norway, October 7, 2015 Download presentation.

the relation between subsurface and surface water management

De Beer, Johannes (2016), presentation on the relation between subsurface and surface water management at Water Management Conference in Trondheim City Hall, February 14, 2016. Download presentation.


Hydrogeolog, seniorrådgiver Susie Mielby

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Urbangeologi; grunnleggende for bærekraftig byutvikling. (Urban geology - fundamental for a sustainable city development)

Ganerød, G.V., de Beer, J., Seither, A. & Vik, M.B. Urbangeologi; grunnleggende for bærekraftig byutvikling. (Urban geology - fundamental for a sustainable city development) Geoteknikkdagen 27. november 2015, Oslo, Norway Book of papers: . Paper on page 468-472.

Launch of the new sub-surface 3D/4D model of the City of Odense, Denmark

Launch of the new sub-surface 3D/4D model of the City of Odense, Denmark, produced by public and private partnership, and inspired by COST Action TU1206 Sub-Urban, and led by Susie Mielby (GEUS) Gert Laursen (City of Odense, both COST partners and MC members, and Niels-Peter Jensen (COST Partner and Working Group Member). 5th October 2015 Download Article.

Hva’ kan der ske, når viden ikke inddrages?

Presentations by Susie Mielby (GEUS, Denmark) Gert Laursen (Odense City, Denmark, and a presentation on COST Sub-Urban Action by Vice Chair (Johannes de Beer, Norway) "Hva’ kan der ske, når viden ikke inddrages?" Download presentation.

Le Guern, C., Baudouin, V., Sauvaget, B., Delayre, M. & P. Conil (2016a) A typology of anthropogenic deposits as a tool for modelling urban subsoil geochemistry: example of the Ile de Nantes (France). Journal of Soil and Sediments. DOI 10.1007_s11368-016-1594-z


Urban soils may be contaminated not only by industrial activities but also by the materials contained in the anthropogenic deposits. In order to anticipate the management of excavated soils linked to urban redevelopment, their quality and quantities need to be assessed. Urban soils and subsoils contain nevertheless a large variety of anthropogenic deposits and present important geochemical heterogeneities. The paper aims to develop various geochemical types of made grounds relevant for a 3D urban subsurface model.

Materials and methods To build a 3D urban subsurface model, using geological tools, the challenge is to define a stratigraphic pile both geologically and geochemically relevant. In this frame, we defined a typology of made grounds based on an iterative approach. We used (a) published classifications, (b) a dataset of the study area (Ile de Nantes) comprising the borehole descriptions (2400), and (c) results of analyzed samples (more than 1800), gathered in a georeferenced database.

The layers (8400) found in the borehole descriptions were interpreted according to the a priori made grounds typology and to the underneath natural layers. The relevance of the made ground typology proposed was verified by a statistical approach on the representative samples and analyses selected in the database.

Results and discussion

Three types of made grounds have been retained. They show contrasted geochemistry. The made grounds that are comparable to natural subsoils correspond in the case study to alluvial type materials. They show similarity with a typology and geochemistry of alluvial materials. The questionable man-made grounds, containing potentially contaminated anthropogenic materials such as bottom ash or slag, are characterized statistically by higher contaminant levels than other types of made grounds (e.g., PAH, Zn, Pb, Cu,...). The various man-made grounds, corresponding to the remaining materials and containing for instance demolition materials, are characterized statistically by higher levels of PCBs. The typology has been used in a 3D representation of the Ile de Nantes subsoils, which served as a decision aid tool for the developer.


The knowledge on urban subsoil geochemistry may help defining redevelopment projects, by adapting soil use to subsoil quality. In this frame, the development of a geochemically relevant made ground typology taking into account their intrinsic potential of contamination appears useful. A proper description of the intrinsic components of the made grounds is essential. It is indispensable to use some rigorously defined and internationally agreed terms

Développement d’une méthodologie de gestion des terres excavées issues de l’aménagement de l’Ile de Nantes - Phase 1 : Caractérisation des sols et recensement des sources de pollution potentielles. Rapport final BRGM/RP-66013-FR // Development of a methodology to manage excavated soils generated by the redevelopment of Nantes Island – Phase 1: Characterisation of urban (sub)soils and inventory of potential contamination sources

Le Guern, C., Baudouin, V., Bridier, E., Cottineau, C., Delayre, M., Desse-Engrand, F., Grellier, M., Ménoury, A., Milano, E., Mouny, A., Pollett, S., Sauvaget, B., Bâlon, P. with the collaboration of Conil, P. and Rouvreau, L. , 2016b. BRGM Final Report RP-66013-FR (in French).


L’Ile de Nantes fait l’objet d’un programme de réaménagement ambitieux sur 30 ans (2000-2030). La Samoa , aménageur de l’Ile, souhaite pour la 2ème partie du programme d’aménagement être en mesure d’anticiper les problèmes liés aux pollutions des sols. Ces derniers peuvent être liés aux contaminations issues des anciennes activités industrielles, mais aussi à la qualité des remblais utilisés. Au-delà des enjeux sanitaires et environnementaux, ces problèmes de pollution représentent des enjeux économiques importants, notamment en lien avec la gestion des terres excavées. En l’absence de méthodologie pour acquérir la connaissance nécessaire pour anticiper ces questions de qualité géochimique des terrains concernés par les réaménagements, et notamment de méthodologie nationale de caractérisation des fonds géochimiques, la Samoa s’est rapprochée du BRGM pour développer des méthodologies adaptées, avec le soutien financier de l’Ademe.

Le projet a été conçu en 2 phases, la phase 1 présentée ici ayant pour objectifs :

  • - de localiser l’emprise des activités industrielles et de service et les sources de pollution potentiellement associées (IHU ), tout en tenant compte des études et des aménagements réalisés (diagnostics, dépollution, gestion des terres excavées sur site et hors site),
  • - de caractériser les sols et le proche sous-sol de l’Ile de Nantes (structure, nature et origine de matériaux, fond géochimique naturel ou anthropisé spécifique à l’Ile de Nantes),
  • - d’évaluer les volumes de terres à excaver potentiellement générées par les opérations d’aménagement à venir, compatibles avec le fond géochimique en vue de leur réutilisation, ou qui pourraient à défaut être admises en ISDIen l’absence de filière de valorisation, et de vérifier qu’elles répondent bien aux critères d’acceptation.

Les méthodologiques développées dans le cadre de l’IHU concernent en particulier la gestion spatio-temporelle des données et une identification des polluants potentiels associés à chacune des sources de pollutions potentielles recensées à l’échelle de la parcelle cadastrale. L’analyse des activités, produits et procédés et leur succession permet de proposer cinq niveaux de potentialité par polluant : nul à très faible, faible, moyen, fort, très fort. Les couches d’informations géoréférencées et les bases de données associées vont être intégrées au SIG de la collectivité et être consultables par les différents services et les aménageurs à partir de requêtes prédéfinies ou créées par l’opérateur. La base de données BASIAS, outil de communication vers les citoyens, a été en outre mise à jour. Sur l’Ile de Nantes, le nombre de site recensés est ainsi passé de 94 initialement à 199 au final.

Dans le cadre de la cartographie des remblais, un des challenges a été de définir une typologie de remblais ayant un sens géochimique et géologique permettant de les distinguer selon leur potentiel polluant intrinsèque. Pour ce faire, une démarche itérative a été mise en place. Elle s’appuie sur une synthèse bibliographique internationale, sur les données de sondages collectées et sur la vérification de la pertinence de la typologie par croisement avec des données de géochimie rassemblées dans une base de données géoréférencées. 3 types de remblais ont été définis. Ils présentent respectivement un potentiel de contamination intrinsèque fort, moyen ou faible selon la qualité des matériaux contenus (ex. scories, mâchefers, …). Cette typologie a été utilisée pour visualiser les différents types de remblais selon plusieurs modes de représentation (3D sous GDM, 2D sous ArcGis).

Un autre challenge a été d’évaluer la compatibilité des terres avec le fond géochimique. Dans ce cadre, une réflexion a été menée sur la notion même de fond géochimique anthropisé. En s’appuyant sur la notion d’anomalie de fond géochimique, la notion de seuil de compatibilité de fond géochimique est proposée. Les calculs statistiques par type de remblai et pour les alluvions, à partir des données d’analyses représentatives sélectionnées dans la base de données de géochimie, ont permis de définir des seuils de compatibilité avec le fond géochimique anthropisé local, spécifiques à l’ile de Nantes, pour la gestion des terres excavées dans ce secteur.

Les calculs de volumes en fonction des seuils de compatibilité de fond géochimique anthropisé montrent des perspectives de réutilisation intéressantes des terres : environ 300 000 m3 seraient réutilisables sans contrainte au niveau du CHU (0 et 4 m de profondeur), et environ 95 000 m3 seraient réutilisables après vérification et traitement éventuel. Des perspectives de réutilisation intéressantes s‘offrent en outre pour les sables des remblais hydrauliques massivement présents sur l’Ile (60 % des matériaux à 2 m de profondeur). L’intérêt d’une plateforme de gestion des terres excavées apparait ainsi clairement, celle-ci devant permettre de stocker les terres et de les traiter si besoin avant réutilisation.

Compte-tenu du volume important de terres à excaver, un excédent est attendu par rapport aux possibilités de valorisation. Une forte proportion de matériaux apparait acceptable en ISDI (environ 80 % sur l’emprise du CHU). Les dépassements de seuil apparaissent liés en majorité à des pollutions ponctuelles, et dans une moindre mesure à la qualité intrinsèque des remblais. Une question se pose néanmoins pour l’antimoine (Sb) qui est parfois le seul paramètre déclassant.

Les résultats opérationnels sont nombreux et présentent de forts enjeux économiques. Néanmoins certains verrous n’ont pu être levés dans le cadre du projet et méritent la poursuite des recherches.

Les éléments acquis au cours de cette première phase pourront être affinés en phase 2, notamment pour préciser les potentialités de réutilisation, mais aussi les seuils de réutilisation en fonction de différents types d’usages. Un autre volet envisagé en phase 2 est le dimensionnement de la plateforme et l’assistance pour sa mise en place.

Urban Groundwater Modeling Scenarios to Simulate Bucharest City Lake Disturbance

International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference: SGEM: Surveying Geology & mining Ecology Management, Martie 2015, Bulgaria

Gogu R.C, Serpescu.I, Perju.S, Gaitanaru. D, Bica.I.

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"3D geological model to support the management of urban subsurface environment: Bucharest City case study"

8th European Congress on Regional Geoscientific Cartography and Information Systems (EUREGEO), Barcelona; 06/2015

Serpescu I, Gogu R.C, Boukhemacha M. A, Gaitanaru D.

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A hydrogeological conceptual approach to study urban groundwater flow in Bucharest city, Romania

Hydrogeology Journal, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 437-450, May 2015

Boukhemacha M A ,  Gogu C.R., Serpescu I,  Gaitanaru D, Bica I

External link to journal article.

DOI 10.1007/s10040-014-1220-3

Technical aspects in the development of a large geothermal borehole exchange infrastructure

Dragoș Găitănaru, Adrian Iurkiewicz, Cristina Iliescu, Radu Gogu

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"General aspects on urban hydrogeology and highlights from Bucharest (Romania)".

Boukhemacha MA, Gogu CR, Serpescu I, Gaitanaru D, Bica I


Boukhemacha MA, Gogu CR, Serpescu I, Gaitanaru D, Bica I. "General aspects on urban hydrogeology and highlights from Bucharest (Romania)". Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, vol.14, no 6, 1279-1285 pp, June 2015,  ISSN: 1582-959

Resilient cities and groundwater, Strategic Overview Series

International Association of Hydrogeologists, IAH 2015, COP-21 Megacities Conference Groundwater Session, Paris, December 2015

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Foster S, Tyson G, Howard K, Hirata R, Shivakoti BjJ,  Warner K, Gogu R, Nkhuwa D, Resilient cities and groundwater, Strategic Overview Series – International Association of Hydrogeologists, IAH 2015, COP-21 Megacities Conference Groundwater Session, Paris, December 2015

Urban groundwater modeling scenarios to simulate a Bucharest City lake disturbance

Constantin Radu Gogu, Mohamed Amine Boukhemacha, Sorin Perju, Dragos Gaitanaru, Irina Serpescu, Ana Balanica,  Ioan Bica

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Urban groundwater model of Bucharest city, Romania

43th IAH Congress, Montpellier, France, 25 – 29 September 2016

Gogu CR, Boukhemacha MA, Gaitanaru D, Serpescu I

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Gogu CR, Boukhemacha MA, Gaitanaru D, Serpescu I, Urban groundwater model of Bucharest city, Romania, 43th IAH Congress, Montpellier, France, 25 – 29 September 2016

"Urban and Geology"
the 5th National Symposium for the Geology of Istanbul on May 12-14, 2017

Aydın Üstün, Kocaeli Üniversitesi Mühendislik Fakültesi Harita Mühendisliği Bölümü Umuttepe/İzmit, (


According to global demographics and geographical data, more than half of the world population live in cities spread over alluvial plains from river delta and lacustrine sediments. The predictions point out that urban population will rise to 60% in 2030 and 70% in 2050. In the World Bank urbanization statistics, Turkey has a growth rate of around 180% from 1950 to 2010, above the world average and the numbers still maintain the trend indicating that the average population of metropolitan area has increased by about 30%.

In the past century, urbanization has become one of the key drivers of sustainable development and economic growth. However, rapid urbanization resulting from migration and population growth comes out together with social, economic and structural problems that challenge the positive development of cities as well as the opportunities. Natural and man-made disasters such as earthquakes, floods, landslides and subsidence are recognized as geohazards in cities. Urbanization by both horizontal and vertical construction suppresses the earth surface on which it rests. The ground undergoes physical change by sinking slowly. This time-dependent and slow-developing progress (which may reach from mm level to dm level annually in vertical) is closely related to geological, geotechnical and hydrogeological soil classification type that affects more or less the decrease in topographic heights. Damages and threats caused by the land subsidence on infrastructure systems have been reported in numerous scientific researches. The results of such studies and risk assessments are of interest to the stakeholders of project management and planning in cities. Working groups of geological services, universities and research institutions, planners and decision makers should collaborate to assess the potential risks of land subsidence and to make urban development sustainable.

In this study, the results of land subsidence obtained from geodetic monitoring are presented in the central cities, İstanbul, Konya and Kocaeli together with the other samples in the literature. The importance of this data for urbanization is discussed, and finally general information on Sub-Urban COST activities is given.  

Keywords: Population growth, urbanization, geohazard, land subsidence, geotechnical data management

Three articles produced by people in the Sub-Urban group are published in the Spanish journal 'Ciudad y Territorio'; vol. 186, see abstracts below. All abstracts from the journal are available online here, and the entire volume is available here.

The Subsurface in European Cities and Urban Areas: A General Study proposal for Consideration in Planning Documents

Ignace Van Campenhout & Miguel Pazos Otón & Ruben C. Lois González

Abstract: The need to include the subsurface in urban studies and planning is no longer questioned. In recent years research and projects addressing this issue have proliferated, culminating in the preparation of the COST TU1206 Suburban action, which sets as a target introducing suburban spaces into the day-to-day management of Europe’s cities. In order for this objective to be realised it is necessary to strengthen collaboration between, on the one hand, geological institutes and universities and, on the other, urban planners and decision-makers; and, of course, formulating a full theoretical agenda that will enable the latest developments in subsoil models and mapping to be put to good use in local urban-planning departments and by private urban-development actors. Theoretical analysis is such that it insists on considering the subsurface as a factor with its own specific attributes, such as watercourses, the original rock composition and its degree of artificialisation, or chemical disturbance processes brought about by intensive human action on the land. Yet, at the same time, the underground space also affected by the impact of the growth of cities, as expressed in the building of infrastructure or the direct occupation of sites near the surface for housing, parking and shopping. Also of relevance is the presence of abundant archaeological remains or merely waste found at different levels. All these factors are studied in this paper, which has been prepared by taking a dual geological and geographical approach, between which dialogue is so clearly needed with regard to these issues.

Keywords: Urban Subsurface. Urban Planning. Europe. Cities. Urban Areas.


Planning the City of Tomorrow: Bridging the Gap between Planners and Subsurface Specialists

Petra van der Lugt & Gillian Dick & Ingelöv Eriksson & Johannes de Beer

Abstract: This paper addresses the process towards integration of subsurface knowledge in urban planning of three cities participating in COST Action TU1206 Sub-urban; Rotterdam, Glasgow and Oslo. The cities have unique challenges to manage conflicts and opportunities in the subsurface in the planning process. The Action has enabled a unique interaction between subsurface specialists and urban planners, thereby contributing to transform the relationship between experts who develop subsurface knowledge, and those who can benefit most from it – urban planners and decision makers. Common challenges are improving planning policies, enhancing the level of awareness of the subsurface in city development and modification of legislation to include the subsurface. Benchmark analyses were carried out among the 3 cities as each is aiming for adapting its urban planning practice and legislation. In our opinion, there are 2 main routes to raise awareness that lead to improved understanding and use of subsurface information in urban planning processes. These are development of a subsurface policy and providing subsurface information. They should lead to enable subsurface knowledge to be widely disseminated in order to manage risks and opportunities, and maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits of the urban subsurface and its services on which cities depend.

Keywords: Urban Subsurface. Urban Planning. Rotterdam. Glasgow. Oslo.


Subsurface Data and Knowledge for the Cities of Tomorrow: Glasgow Lessons Learnt and their Applicability Elsewhere

Diarmad Campbell & Helen Bonsor & David Lawrence & Alison Monaghan & Katie Whitbread & Tim Kearsey & Andrew Finlayson & David Entwisle & Andrew Kingdon & Stephanie Bricker & Fiona Fordyce & Hugh Barron & Gillian Dick & David Hay

Abstract: Knowledge of the subsurface is vital in planning and delivering successful construction and regeneration projects. To address this, and other urban subsurface issues in the Glasgow area (e.g. planning, flooding, contamination), the British Geological Survey’s (BGS) Clyde-Urban SuperProject (CUSP) has developed 3D and 4D subsurface models and other geoscience datasets (geochemistry, groundwater, engineering geology). The models based on data from tens of thousands of boreholes and other sources, provide new insights into: Glasgow’s complex geology; impacts of its industrial legacy; and opportunities for harnessing heat from abandoned mine workings. To make the CUSP models, and data, more accessible, BGS and Glasgow City Council, a key partner, have established ASK (Accessing Subsurface Knowledge), a data and knowledge exchange network involving public and private sector partners. ASK promotes digital free flow of subsurface data and knowledge between its partners. Lessons learnt in Glasgow are being shared through a European COST Action (Sub-Urban) focussed on sustainable urban subsurface use, and transforming relationships between those who develop urban subsurface knowledge and those who can benefit most from it; the planners and developers of the cities of tomorrow.

Keywords: Urban Subsurface. Cities. Glasgow. United Kingdom.