Designed to bring you innovative thinking and industry relevant perspectives for those with an interest in what’s going on beneath the surface. In this edition of unearthed, we explore future cities and the latest thinking and developments on building a sustainable city in the future.
We already know that cities are growing at an astonishing rate. By 2050, 68% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities, and those cities will be vast. At the same time climate change in coastal areas and demand for adjacent land to remain accessible for food production are constraining the expansion of our cities horizontally and driving a need to expand both upwards and downwards.
There are many underground metro projects underway around the planet, and lots more projects to increase the capacity of aging infrastructure underground. The big question is what are we going to find when we start increasing our investigations under our cities, and how will we rise to the challenge of understanding and communicating the ground risks in these increasingly crowded subsurface spaces?
In future cities, subsurface real estate will be as closely managed and regulated as we currently take for granted in our daily lives above ground. It stands to reason that the successes of recent collaborative and digital based smart city initiatives like that in Singapore, will be replicated for the subsurface. As a planet we need to focus on initiatives and solutions that promote the sharing of ground investigation data and geological interpretations in the close quarters of the urban landscape to avoid duplication of data collection effort and costs. That involves building a data rich 3D subsurface understanding common to everyone, with the perpetual addition of as-built underground structures, and accessible 3D visualisation.