Published April 7, 2015

The Associated Research Centers for the Urban Underground Space (ACUUS) joins the World Urban Campaign

ACUUS is an international ‘Think Thank’ for the underground space definition and planning initiatives with a continuous goal of broadening the membership across continents and countries. To achieve this, ACUUS hosted last year in Medellin, a networking event at the Seventh Session of the World Urban Forum, and signed a MOU of collaboration with UN-Habitat in September 2014, to promote the sustainable use of the underground space. Last October 2014, ACUUS participated to the Urban Thinkers Campus in Caserta, Italy, another initiative of UN-Habitat in preparation of Habitat III. 

As a result of those activities, the Associated Research Centers for the Urban Underground Space now joins forces with the World Urban Campaign. The Campain seeks to facilitate collaboration and bring people together to create a better and sustainable urban future for all. If you are interested to help us in that campaign, please contact the Secretariat.


Partners of the WUC:

ACUUS 2018 "Integrated Underground Solutions for Compacted Metropolitan Cities

5 - 7 November 2018, Hong Kong


Message from the Chairman of the Organising Committee

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Delegates the ACUUS 2018 World Conference coming to Hong Kong is very exciting for us. We have embarked on a journey to harness our underground in the city in a better and more systematic manner and we are proud that ACUUS has allowed us to host the event and bring so many thinkers, practionners and world renowned speakers to our home to share their experiences in underground development. The conference will undoubtedly inspire, steer and provide a platform for our younger Architects, Planners and Engineers to see the possibilities and how we can make our dense urban cities more convenient, liveable and better planned.

The theme of “Integrated Underground Solutions for Compact Metropolitan Cities”, while relevant to our Hong Kong context is one that resonates with many cities around the world and which demands our attention as we continue to expand, develop and integrate our urban systems for our own convenience, enjoyment and improved efficiency. The underground cannot be ignored, nor can it be developed in a haphazard manner. It needs to be planned and developed to provide better surface living as well as safer and more convenient public circulation in our urban areas. Various threats need to be meet and boldly challenged for us to reap the rewards of underground development. In addition technology is rapidly changing and digital data is changing the way we look at our built environment. With BIM and other digital technologies we will be able to record, manage and plan our hidden cities assets in a better way.

I would like to Welcome You to ACUUS 2018, may you enjoy the conference, share and present your ideas and make new friends.

Mr. Mark Wallace
Chairman, Organising Committee

The conference will invite globally recognized speakers and world authorities in Urban Underground Space to share their experiences and knowledge with planners, architects and engineers in the region. It is intended to hold keynote presentations to showcase latest thinking and approach in integrated compact city urban design.

Parallel sessions to suit various interests will be organized to further present the state of the art in those related and key underground space disciplines. Discussion and debate will be sought to analyse and assess topical key issues related to urban underground design and implementation.

The conference will seek high quality papers that can provide insight, rigour and useful practical examples of integrated underground solutions for compact metropolitan cities.

 Call for Papers

Abstracts are invited for presentations on the following topics. Oral, poster or burst presentations will be selected among the submitted abstracts.

  1. Integrated Planning
  2. Architecture and Design
  3. Underground Infrastructure
  4. Sustainability and Environment
  5. Safety and Human Factors
  6. Economics and Legal Issues
  7. Technical Approaches and Innovations


Important dates (revised):

New extended Deadline for abstract submission: now only for members
Notification of acceptance: 30 March 2018
Deadline for paper submission: 30 June 2018

RegistrationRegistration fees table

Contact the ACUUS Secretariat to become a member and benefit from a reduced registration fee:


ACUUS 2018 Secretariat
c/o International Conference Consultants Limited
Office address: Unit C-D, 17/F, Max Share Centre, 373 King’s Road, North Point, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2559 9973
Fax: (852) 2547 9528

General enquiry:
Sponsorship and exhibition:


ACUUS 2016 in Saint Petersburg: the representatives of the authorities and professional community pay attention to underground urbanization development issues

The 15th World Conference of the Associated research Centers for the Urban Underground Space was held in Saint Petersburg, September 12-15, 2016.

This conference became one of the most significant events for the professional community. Welcoming it to Russia helped to attract attention of local authorities and the public at large to the issues of urban underground infrastructure development. 

Long established the ACUUS conferences take place once in two years in largest metropolises of the world.  Saint Petersburg held the conference for the first time. The main theme of the conference was “Underground Urbanisation as a Prerequisite for Sustainable Development”.

ACUUS 2016 Conference was supported by the Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg City Administration agencies, Saint Petersburg Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the largest Russian relevant organizations: National Association of Builders and National Association of Surveyors and Designers.

During the four days of the conference more than 600 participants from 34 countries got involved. Almost 200 abstracts were reviewed and 117 papers by the leading subject specialists were selected for the parallel sessions. Majority of the speakers arrived from foreign countries to share their experience, get to know Russian experience in underground space use.

The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev sent his message to the participants of the ACUUS 2016 Conference. The Governor of Saint Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko and Vice Governor Igor Albin took part in the Opening ceremony.

Governor of St Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko

As stated by Georgy Poltavchenko during his greeting speech at the opening ceremony, at present all the largest cities develop urban underground space because of the lack of areas. It allows preserving historic centers, efficiently solving traffic issues and improving environmental situation.  

Referring to the main theme of the ACUUS2016 conference the Governor highlighted its importance to the city of Saint Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The historic center of the city, being in the UNESCO world heritage list, is unmatched by the total area and number of cultural heritage sites.  

“Our city not only represents the history carved into the stone, it is a living organism, metropolis with the population of five million people. It is in need of developing, maintaining work, moving with the times, improving infrastructure, creating comfortable urban environment” – noted Georgy Poltavchenko.  

In his closing remarks the Governor of Saint Petersburg emphasized how the underground project implementation needs thorough study and analyse as well as special attention from the State and professional community. 

The Bureau of the Conference  (left to right):  ACUUS President Dimitris Kaliampakos, ACUUS 2016 Organizing Committee Chairman  Sergey Alpatov, Vice Governor of St Petersburg Igor Albin, JSC “Metrostroy” general director Vadim Alexandrov, The Committee for Transport Infrastructure Development of St Petersburg Chairman Sergey Kharlashkin, ACUUS general manager Jacques Besner  

At the Plenary Session the Vice Governor of St Petersburg Igor Albin delivered the keynote address “Metro system as a prerequisite for transport infrastructure development and comprehensive underground space use of Saint Petersburg”.  

He noted that worldwide experience shows that the construction of metro system successfully solves transport and social issues of the metropolis, creating basis for the comprehensive underground space development.  

Interchange hubs, pedestrian passages, shopping and entertainment centers and recreation areas being relocated underground, increase the comfort and safety of living. Thereby the metro systems represent urban development function, influence the city planning.  

In his report Dimitris Kaliampakos, the ACUUS President, professor of the National Technical University of Athens, gave an insight to the history of urban underground space development. While comparing the metropolis with the living organism, he emphasized that the beauty and health are defined by almost not visible city services development and improvement of transport infrastructure, supporting its vital activities.

More than 600 participants from 34 countries

Within the parallel session the key topics were discussed including urban planning, symbiotic relation between underground infrastructure and ground base development, metro systems and integrated interchange hubs future developments. Specialists considered advantages of underground construction for disaster risk reduction, geotechnical surveys progress, trenchless technologies development prospects. The conference concluded with the following  technical tours: underground metro stations “Prospect Slavy”, “Novokrestovskaya”, “Sportivnaya” and  underground construction sites of the Western High-Speed Diameter.

The Conference ACUUS 2016 provided further evidence that the underground space development not affected by lack of technologies or funding, but relies on planning and the state support.  One of the main outputs of the conference is the instruction of the Vice Governor of Saint Petersburg Igor Albin to prepare the cooperation agreement between ACUUS and the Committee for Transport Infrastructure Development of Saint Petersburg.   

“I hope the holding of the 15th World Conference of ACUUS will provide an assessment of the comprehensive underground space development opportunities for building of the innovative urban environment to all the parties involved into construction”, - underlined Sergey Alpatov,  Association of Underground Builders general director, the ACUUS Board member.

The 15th World Conference ACUUS 2016 was organized on behalf of the Associated research Centers for the Urban Underground Space. The organizer is Association of Underground Builders, the official operator is PRIMEXPO, part of ITE Group.

ACUUS 2016 sponsors are such  companies as JSC “Metrostroy”, JSC Research and Design Institute “Lenmetrogiprotrans”, GEOIZOL Group, National Association of Surveyors and Designers, CJSC “Geostroy”, Center for Building Structure Diagnostics LLC,  PROMAT, PENOPLEX SPb, NIP – informatika, KB ViPS, SUE “Lengiproinzhproekt”.

You may find the conference photos at

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The First Online Database for Worldwide Underground Space Development 


For the first time, a universal database is being developed aiming at displaying the “thousand faces” of the underground development, both contemporary and historical. It aspires to establish itself as a reference point for all underground scholars, containing valuable information regarding the utilization of the underground space. The task relies on crowdsourcing and the joined forces of thousands of underground development enthusiasts around the world.

The Underground Atlas has been development by he Laboratory of Mining and Environmental Technology (L.M.E.T) of the National Technical University of Athens ( in collaboration with ACUUS ( The L.M.E.T has been systematically carrying out research on underground development, with a specialization in underground hazardous waste repositories, the economics of the underground development (including positive externalities), the use of mining methods in creating underground space, etc.

The Director of the Laboratory, Professor Dimitris Kaliampakos, has also been elected as the President of ACUUS. He has been systematically involved in underground development research for more than 20 years.


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