Our regular presence in UN-Habitat's activities began at WUF7 in Medellin in April 2014, where we organized a networking event, titled “Equity and Equality Opportunities – Cities Think Underground”. On September 16, 2014, UN-Habitat and ACUUS signed an MOU to raise awareness of best practices of the sustainable uses of underground space for urban development, in particular for adequate urban drainage management, city planning, and sustainable mobility solutions, among decision-makers, local authorities as well as UN-Habitat staff. ACUUS was invited to organize an Urban Lab Session during the opening day of the Urban Thinkers Campus, in preparation of Habitat III, in Caserta, Italy, in October 2014. The Session was titled “Advanced Local Energy Planning and Underground Space Utilization: suitable and feasible solution for future sustainable and resilient cities”. On October 2015, our Secretary General participated in New York, as a Member of the Working Group 1 "The City We Need (TCWN) 2.0 Drafting Committee”, to the meeting of the WUC 13th steering committee. More recently, in February 2018, we hosted another Networking Event in the AFINUA Room at the World Urban Forum 9, in Kuala Lumpur, titled “Cities need underground – Equity and equality opportunities for the New Urban Agenda”.
Here is a summary of events that marked the year 2019:
A new MOU with UN-Habitat
After a couple of months of discussions with UN-Habitat to draft the final version of our new MOU, valid for 3 years, we finally signed it in Shanghai on October 27, during the World Cities Day Global Cities Forum. On behalf of Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, it was Mr. Victor Kisob, UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director who signed the MoU with us.
In that important agreement:
- ACUUS gained a much broader scope of activities regarding urban areas, and the focus and the primary results of our collaboration is the contribution of the Urban Underground Space (UUS) to the urban sustainability and resilience.
- There are still no funding obligations by parties, but we will organize joint trips, and “each party can be invited and participate on each other’s events, seminars, conferences, workshops and other similar events and occasions and consider recommendations of visiting Party in formation of reports and recommendations resulting from this cooperation.”
- UN-Habitat will consult ACUUS on issues related to policies, best practices, lessons learned, strategic consulting or technical advisory on matters of urban space planning and urban underground space inclusion, and will actively participate in review of ACUUS documents and policies regarding urban underground space planning, with consideration of its inclusion in the planning process;
Global Urban Underground Space Development and Utilization Shanghai Summit (FUUS2019)
October 28 and October 29, 2019
Supported by the World Cities Day Shanghai Coordination Office and by the Shanghai Municipality, the Shanghai Summit on Global Urban Underground Space Development and Utilization – Future Cities for “Belt & Road initiative” / Urban Underground Space Development and Utilization (FUUS2019) was successfully held in Shanghai.
Before the Summit opening ceremony, a private meeting between UN-Habitat and ACUUS was arranged on October 28 for discussing next step actions on implementing the MoU (signed on the previous y, October 27th). During this meeting, three UN-Habitat officials (Mr. Victor Kisob, Deputy-Executive Director, Mr. Florian Lux, Special assistant to Mr. Kisob, and Mr. Yang Rong, China focal point officer for UN-H) discussed with us for concrete actions, including the participation of UN-H to ACUUS 2020 Helsinki, the participation of ACUUS to a Side event at the World Urban Forum 10 in Abu Dhabi, and to organize workshops at the UN-H headquarters in New York City.
During the Shanghai Summit (FUUS2019), several agreements have been signed by ACUUS and by our working group, ACUUS-Urban, to make it easier for us to implement our MOU with UN-Habitat, including:
a) ACUUS-URBAN and Tongji University Press: for creating a digital think tank platform and a training program implementation;
b) ACUUS-URBAN and MOHURD/FUUS Organizing Committee: for funding the operation of ACUUS-URBAN and for a yearly conference of the Shanghai Summit;
c) ACUUS and YES: for enhancing capacity building on smart geology and underground space by youth training.
At the end of the Summit, the ACUUS Shanghai Declaration was the highlight of FUUS2019, and signed by 19 international representatives and by participants on a signing wall. That Declaration is the first stage of preparing the ACUUS White Paper to be presented to UN-Habitat into a Shanghai Manual.
URBAN THINKERS CAMPUS
1st International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of Underground Space (EUUS 2019)
Supported by the China Deep Exploration Center (SinoProbe Center), which is under the Ministry of Natural Resources in China, by the Wuhan Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IRSM-CAS), the 1st International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of Underground Space (EUUS 2019) was also successfully held in Wuhan, China. Our President Dimitris Kaliampakos, our Director of Asia Zhou Yingxin, and the ACUUS Fellows Raymond Sterling and Qian Qihu joined this event, as well as many ACUUS members, were present.
Urban Thinkers Campus 4.0 (November 15):
• morning session (sponsored by IRSM-CAS): with Prof. LI Xiaozhao, Chair of ACUUS-GEO. Topic: “Geosciences for sustainable cities”. The session includes the opening ceremony, keynote lectures, and the UN C40 Awards lecture and student interactive dialogues). Mr. Lars Stordal, UN-Habitat official, presented SDGs, the New Urban Agenda and the collaboration between UN-Habitat & ACUUS, followed by his active interaction with students;
• afternoon session (sponsored by Zhongdi Cyber): with Dr. Wang Meng, YES President. Topic: “Urban Geology, the Foundation of Smart City”. The session includes short courses, an expert panel discussion, as well as a strategic dialogue with the China Geological Survey (CGS), the funding party of ACUUS-GEO. Again, Mr. Lars Stordal presented the relevant UN-Habitat platforms to CGS who is interested to sponsor more activities of ACUUS-GEO. He also shared his opinions during the expert panel discussion before giving an inspiring speech at the closing ceremony. This event was the first joint event co-chaired by ACUUS and YES.
A successful participation of ACUUS at the World Urban Forum 9 in Kuala Lumpur
February 8, 2018
Our President, Dimitris Kaliampakos, along with Mark Wallace, Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 16th World Conference of ACUUS in Hong Kong, Tony Ho, Secretary of the Organizing Committee of the Conference and Yingxin Zhou, Director ACUUS Asia, presented in the AFINUA room four conferences under the theme "Cities need underground - Equity and equality opportunities for the New Urban Agenda". That room was dedicated to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and how a political commitment, breaking the sectorial, constituency and geographical silos, looking for cross-cutting linkages, can trigger new issues with better partnerships, synergies and coordination.Following the presention, our delegation met some high representatives of UN-Habitat to talk about the renewal of our MOU with ACUUS.
The Associated Research Centers for the Urban Underground Space joins the World Urban Campaign
Published April 7, 2015
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: http://www.worldurbancampaign.org/partner/
A big step forward: Cooperation agreement between UN-HABITAT and ACUUS
Montreal, 24 September 2014
The date of September 16th 2014 is remarkable for our organization. A Memorandum of Underground was signed between The United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the Associated Research Centers for the Urban Underground Space (ACUUS), aiming to establish an official collaboration for raising awareness of the sustainable use of underground space for urban development. Since inauguration of ACUUS Secretariat in Montreal in 1996, our organization incorporated in Canada has maintained an international network of institution members and professional members located in 15 countries around the world. This agreement will allow ACUUS and UN-HABITAT to collaborate and work together to share and transfer the benefits, lessons learned, best practices, advantages and financing opportunities of underground space maintenance and development for its sustainable usage within a context of urban development, resilient cities and disaster risk deduction.
The ceremony was held in the UN-HABITAT New York office, with presence of ACUUS General Manager Mr. Jacques Besner, UN-HABITAT Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos, and ACUUS Secretary General Mrs. Sanja Zlantanic (From left to right in the photo below). Official announcement is published in UN-HABITAT’s front page, please refer to: http://unhabitat.org/cooperation-agreement-promotes-sustainable-use-of-underground-urban-space/.