Global pandemic recently put a spotlight on the importance of space, especially in urban areas. How can an urban life be planned if people must stand 1meter away from one another? On the contrary, can global megalopolis provide their entire population with enough electricity and water if people must live in a long-term containment? Added to global demographic growth registered the past decades and housing challenges encountered, the emergency of finding new solutions to free space in surface is more accurate than ever.
This emergency is one more reason for international decision makers to pursue their will to rethink urban planning to free space in surface.

Since 2015, the international competition “the ITA Tunnelling Awards” seeks to reward the most
ground-breaking innovations and outstanding projects in tunnelling and underground space utilization.
The upcoming edition will be a virtual event held on 3-4 December 2020.

Although mega projects are undertaken all over the world, the category “Innovative and Contributing Underground Space” highlights the importance of underground space as a dedicated space which needs to be invested as a link between above and subterranean space, to build resilient and sustainable urban areas.


Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Padur, India

Energy security is one of the most challenging issue encountered by Indian public authorities. Indian government entrusted ISPRL to build an underground storage for crude oil. This project is innovative as it highlights the importance of co-existence between the above ground and underground spaces.
The facilities provide the safest & most secure means of storing the crude oil for longer period of time and since the product is stored at a depth of 80 metres below earth surface. The above ground portion
of the facility requires very less spaces and balance land available can be utilized for creating other renewable energy projects such solar power plants and the facility can exist without disturbing natural
green environment. The total length of the tunnelling for creating the underground caverns was
approx. 30 kilometres with approximately excavation of 22 million tons of hard rock.

Shenzhen Chegongmiao Integrated Traffic Hub Project, China

Shenzhen Chegongmiao Integrated Traffic Hub project is a huge multi-functional project. It consists in building the new metro interchange station, Xiangmihu Road improvement works, municipal auxiliary works and underground space development. The above-ground space for land saving function, and its scope includes underground metro stations, business development, underpasses, ground roads, bridge renovation, etc…
The project facilitated traffic functions of Xiangmihu and Shennan Avenues, improved the surrounding pedestrian system and traffic connection facilities, implemented the separation of people and vehicles, and comprehensively enhanced the traffic and distribution capacity in the region through the renovation of Chegongmiao Interchange and Xiangmihu Interchange while carrying out metro construction.

Union Square Market Street Station – Battered Drilled Shafts as Permanent Ground
Support, USA

The Union Square Market Street Station (UMS) is an underground station that is being constructed as a part of the Central Subway Project in San Francisco, California.
The entire project is a 1.7-mile-long subway extension with three underground stations and one surface station. The Project will improve public transportation by extending the Muni Metro T
Third Line through South of Market District, Union Square and Chinatown.

The south entrance will be integrated with the existing BART/MUNI Powell Street Station, providing a direct connection between the two transit lines. To the North, the main entrance will be at the south-east corner of Union Square on Geary Street. A portion of the famous Union
Square Garage and Plaza will be repurposed to house the main points of egress as well as two emergency ventilation shafts. The station is approximately 950 feet long.

Its overall configuration is divided into three areas: the North Concourse, the Platform and the
South Concourse. The North Concourse is about 200 feet long and 55 feet below the roadway. The Platform is approximately 400 feet long and ranges in depth from 90 feet to 100 feet. The South Concourse is about 250 feet long along Stockton Street and another 100 feet as it wraps along Ellis Street. The depth ranges from about 20 to 30 feet as it ascends north.

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