The establishment of national register for all subsurface data (BRO) within the Netherlands by TNO is a hugely significant body of work and forms a benchmark case study to COST Action TU1206 Sub-Urban in data management and use.

Animation of the Structural Vision of the Subsurface in the Netherlands  (in Dutch). Source:

lncreased standardisation of subsurface data is required in nearly all COST cities and countries to increase the accessibility and re-use of subsurface data, and to maximise the collective potential value and past investment in these data. The urban subsurface is being increasingly utilised for infrastructure as well as energy and water abstraction, and there is growing recognition of the need for urban planning to be three-dimensional with guidelines for the subsurface. In tandem with this, uncertainty in ground conditions due to limited accessibility of ground information, remains one of the biggest sources of project overspends to the construction industry and overly conservative design in many countries. Poor data accessibility is also a significant constraint to development of 3Dsubsurface models to improve site investigation design and inform urban development.

This STSM allowed knowledge exchange between key personnel in BGS and TNO to evaluate the key lessons learnt from the implementation of BRO, and their applicability to other countries to achieve increased standardisation of data and better data capture. The discussions and lessons learnt from implementing BRO in the Netherlands are directly relevant to the current GSPEC pilot by the BGS in the UK to try and enforce submission of all subsurface data to a national BGS data repository, using a standardised digital data formatting format, to improve subsurface data accessibility and re-use in the UK. The STSM outputs are of immediate benefit to the Working Group 2 sub-group reviewing and identifying best practice in subsurface data management across Europe, but the evaluations and outputs of the STSM are highly relevant to the wider network of COST Action TU1206, Sub-Urban.

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