Chapter 1

Chapter 1

The subsurface as the final urban frontier

In this chapter we look at urban underground space as the undiscovered asset that can help shape the cities of the future. With the words of the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, its about 'the future we want'. We aim at setting the scene by showing that the use of space below the surface is only one of many uses.

One of the reasons why the development of underground space has stagnated over the years could lie in the inadequacy of its development to integrate into other developmenst, create  public spaces and become a vibrant part of the urban fabric.

Planning the urban subsurface requires not just the balancing of requirements and opportunities – it also asks urban planners, urban designer and architects to work together in shaping a new urban tissue beneath our cities. is the home of 'Underground Spaces Unveiled: Planning and creating the cities of the future' and its authors.

Published by ICE Publishing Ltd.

ISBN: 978-0-7277-6145-3 – availble from: