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Smart cities and the cities of the future

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.

Daniel Wallace General Manager, Civil and Environmental Industries, Seequent

Daniel Wallace
General Manager, Civil and
Environmental Industries, Seequent

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Stories from this edition


Five of the World’s Most Surprising Underground Developments

Interesting developments including underground cities, farms, business parks and more.
The earth at night

The Space Elevator

The premium for space on our planet is making us look elsewhere
plastic water bottle rubbish in the gutter with leaves

Will tomorrow’s waste feel the pressure?

Cities are in search of a cleaner, faster, neater solution to the rumbling garbage truck
Mega city concept

Tomorrow’s cities will be vast. Can the drive for sustainability keep pace with their growth?

As city populations grow ever larger – and move from ‘mega’ to ‘giga’ status
Singapore beneath the surface

Singapore beneath the surface

While others may dig for gold, oil or diamonds.
Komatso Seiren offices in Nomi

Engineering buildings which resist seismic disturbance

Four of the world’s biggest economies are cities sitting along fault lines
Drone flying in the air

Robots in the air? Is the future of city transport in the hands of robots?

After years of sci-fi promise, are some of the AI guided revolutions in autonomous transport…

Going Underground

Though skyscrapers will continue their race to the clouds, designers and engineers are increasingly looking…
Case Studies

3D Modelling Plays Important Role in Design of New Zealand’s Pūhoi to Warkworth Motorway

Seequent software has been used to support design of a motorway extension from New Zealand’s…