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Underground Space Concept
of the year

Nominations for this category of the ITA Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards are urban underground space concepts or projects that were planned or have been completed between 1 January 2017 and 1st April 2019. For (policy) plans the date of final publication shall be taken; for projects, the opening for operational use applies.

Outstanding Underground Space Concept

The winning project demonstrates new or enhanced uses of urban underground space. In this context, underground space use is a concept that is embedded below the surface and is integrated with other uses or has additional benefits such as providing heating to surrounding communities or reduction of CO2 emissions.

This award specifically aims at urban planners, urban designers, architects, property developers, owners, and decision makers, who feel their efforts in including urban underground space in their plans or projects demonstrates an exemplary achievement.

The judges will consider whether the plan, concept or project fulfils one or more of the following requirements:

  • Includes mixed land use; for example mixed-use by two or more sectors of under-utilized, degraded or brownfield property; shared use of roads, operation and maintenance facilities and utilities.
  • Consists of mixed-use, i.e. water storage and car parking combined in one facility.
  • Incorporates green infrastructure, i.e. does it include possibilities for water harvesting or create new green public spaces at the surface by developing space below the surface?
  • Integrates social and economic benefits, i.e. does the plan or project lead to improved quality of life, and economic competitiveness for the community through the inclusion of community amenities; for example, warming houses at the surface through re-using heat produced by the underground facility?
  • Includes climate adaptation measures such as place-based measures to achieve resilience against extreme weather events.
  • Includes risk resilience measures against natural hazards; for example, safeguards (redundancy) to reduce cross-sector cascading effects; does the plan or project contribute to urban resilience, i.e. the capacity for urban areas to recover after a risk event has occurred.
  • Demonstrates that through accepting the plan or concept or completing the project, the awareness and interest in the use of urban underground space were raised amongst politicians, decision makers and the general public.
  • Consists of an outstanding architectural quality both internally and externally with emphasis on user experience, and solutions for wayfinding or maintaining surface contact.
  • Enhances a cities architecture through the design of the entrance portals or the surface-subsurface interface.