During a side-event at WUF9, ITACUS showed its tools for action on underground space that can be used at both the local and national level.
Together with ISOCARP, the International Society of City and Regional Planners, ITACUS is running the Young Professionals Think Deep Programme. The aim of this programme is to help cities look at planning issues by enabling a dialogue between professionals who work together for a week, focussing on a concrete urban planning case. This tool not only helps cities because it generates multiple solutions, the awareness of underground space is raised among professionals. In that sense, the tool is all about capacity building. ITACUS activity group leader Petr Salak and ISOCARP vice-president YPP, Zeynep Gunay, shared their enthusiasm with the audience on this programme.
A second tool is the ITACUS National Action Think Deep Programme. Through the Member Nations of ITA, local Think Deep groups are started that discuss the use of underground space in their region. These groups are in a unique position as they can organise workshops on for example recommendations for changes in legislation. Although the concept of underground space is universal, the application takes place in a local context. This is where National Think Deep groups can make a big difference. Petr Salak as co-founder of Think Deep UK and Abidemi Agwor of Think Deep Naija in Nigeria talked about the success of setting up these national groups.
It was evident that dialogue and involving young professionals are key for capacity building in terms of underground space. At the same time, both tools can also generate concrete results that can be used in practice.