The use of underground space can arise from both a mega-city scale in terms of ever-increasing demand on space as well as on a micro level of local communities struggling to maintain and increase liveability and comply with environmental legislation.
The actual use of underground space varies from virtually non-existent to ever increasing application. The latter brings forth its own challenges in an often uncoordinated and unrecognised autonomous development leading to severe congestion of underground space and the blocking of future development. An increasing use of deeper underground space is often the result, which leads to an increase in cost and risks.
The ITA Committee on Underground Space (ITACUS) has been tasked to address the issue of Underground Space Use worldwide and to raise awareness with regards to both the actual use and the need to develop a vision on the use which allows for planning the use of underground space.
The use of underground space is seen to be vital in a world where more than half of the population now lives in urban areas. Further concentration in mega-cities is a trend which can not be stopped. The use of underground space can contribute to sustainable development, maintaining liveability and preparing the world for the impact of climate change. Creating awareness on the use of underground space in this respect is vital.
Furthering the development of visions on urban underground space use and rational use of underground space through planning techniques is essential. The ITA Committee on Underground Space has been created specifically to bring together professionals from around the world to address these issues.
Participation is open to all professionals and experts representing organizations or institutions operating within the built environment that have an interest in the use of underground space and who are motivated to contribute to the aims of the committee. Specifically, ITACUS is seeking membership from city governments and (air) port authorities.
Benefits of membership
ITACUS members can benefit from becoming part of a global network of experts who are prepared to share their knowledge and experience in order to further the awareness of underground space and the planning of underground space use. ITACUS will hold an Open Meeting at least once a year during the World Tunnelling and Underground Space Congress. ITACUS will also be present at meetings of other organizations to conduct workshops.
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