International Forum RESOLUTION

Saint Petersburg

27-29 June 2012


The aim of the Forum is to demonstrate that there are no other alternative solutions than the complex use of underground space directed at development of million cities without prejudice to ecology and worsening of transport and territorial problems. More than 70 reports were presented during the event. Those reports included underground building prospects and advantages and also town-planning issues concerning underground infrastructure creation in modern metropolises.

Having heard the reports and announcements, participants of the Forum stated as follows:

  • further sustainable development of the Russian cities requires more intensive use of underground space. Level of use of underground space is way below nowadays than modern scientific achievements allow and rate of city growth defines;
  • solution of ecological problems, expansion in the number of green planting, preservation of unique historical buildings and architectural monuments, step-by-step availability provision of socially significant facilities in historical city districts and while forming new territories are impossible nowadays without complex city use of underground space;
  • effective government administration system in the field of underground town-planning is absent nowadays. In the first place it is concerning the town-planning design, common method of economic effectiveness and functional practicability evaluation of underground facility building taking into consideration peculiarities and conditions of building;
  • legislation regulating town-planning implementation both on federal and regional levels takes into consideration underground urban planning specific character insufficiently. This includes also legislation related sectors, they are land, ecological, civil legislation and subsurface use legislation;
  • normative base of engineering survey, design and facility building located in underground space need to be improved and expanded both on federal and regional levels;
  • employment of modern technological work performances, equipment, materials and methods allows to build underground infrastructure facilities in any hydrogeological conditions, on considerable depth, helps to reduce building period, maximizes safety and quality of performed works, increases exploitation period;
  • the works while using the underground space should be performed by organizations with proper work experience. Special attention should be paid to preparation of highly qualified specialist able to provide effective government administration in the field of underground town-planning, skillfully and reasonably use working high technologies and modern tunneling equipment.

Participants of the Forum believe that metropolis use of underground space in the task of national importance and in order to solve it the following activities should be performed in the shortest time possible:

  • To establish an activity coordination body on complex use of underground space on federal level and also in all large cities of Russia, including Saint Petersburg. Fundamentally, work of this body should be based on interdisciplinary approach providing coordinated work of parties involved in town-planning administration and designing: architects, designers, engineers, builders, lawyers, state authority and municipal government representatives. Joint cooperation will allow developing an integrated solution for city environment stable development due to multipurpose use of one and the same underground facilities, for example, uniting transport problem solutions with energy production.
  • To compile the lists of high priority amendments and additions of current legislation on federal and regional levels in order to improve regulatory framework on use of underground space. To initiate amendment and addition making into the Town-Planning Code of the Russian Federation, the Land Code of the Russian Federation and Federal Law on Subsurface, including adoption of number of bylaws on federal level to provide realization of consistent legal scheme of town-planning use of underground space within populated places.
  • To formalize of the term "underground facility" the term "underground capital construction, reconstruction and capital repairs facility" in legislation on subsurface instead, give its regulatory definition taking into consideration its location below soil layer, repel question on depth of its location, possibility to place soil layer and/or transport objects, engineer (other) facilities under it. To include subways to the term "underground building object".
  • To permit building of any underground objects in populated places in accordance with land property purpose of function without the requirement to receive permission (license) on subsurface use.
  • To provide suggestion on procedure for admittance to engineering surveys, designing and building of highly dangerous and technically complex objects, which include underground building (the Town-Planning Code of the Russian Federation, Article 48.1, clause 1) and approve them on the national level. Not to use 94 Federal Law while conducting a tender on underground construction designing and building.
  • To enact the law on complex metropolis use of underground space and develop and pass the amendments to Master layout plans of large Russian cities with regard to complex use of underground space, create section "Town-Planning Design of Underground Space". To pay attention especially to transport component, including underground railway that should become the "spine" of all underground infrastructure of the cities, including Saint Petersburg.
  • To create generally accessible geoinformation system in large Russian cities, including Saint Petersburg that will unify all assembly of information about underground space geological and hydrological condition, peculiarities of certain territories, possibilities and restrictions of their underground use and also official recommendation with the consideration of modern methods remaining in the disposal of government body executive authority. Such system should be maintained in current status.
  • To initiate creation of city digital model, including their underground part and start implementation of the whole work cycle with 3D objects over the whole period starting with evaluation of object location possibility in underground space and ending with property registration.
  • To define prior town-planning realization territory with the use of underground space within the cities of the Russian Federation.
  • To develop and approve comfort living standards in the cities of the Russian Federation, including Saint Petersburg taking into consideration underground facility use and primarily, the underground railway. To provide step-by-step availability to subway station more that 70% of Saint Petersburg territory till 2020.
  • To formalize in legislation regulation on intercepting and also multilevel underground parking places in district of underground railway terminal stations by analogy with already existing in European cities that will allow to unload the center from transport parking places and stations. To present additions to City Design Town-Planning in accordance with which the city territories not suitable for ground use (ravines, bottomlands, swamp areas, power transmission line lands) and also plantation areas would have priority building right by underground parking places with exit to existing city highways.
  • Due to complex use of underground space of Russian cities and transfer engineer infrastructure facilities under ground, to increase the number of green planting, provide step-by-step availability provision of socially significant facilities in historical city districts and while forming new territories, promote preservation of unique historical buildings and architectural monuments. Due to organization of underground parking places, interchanges and tunnels, to solve transport, ecological and territorial problems of large cities. To take into consideration and use potential of underground buildings in terms of energy efficiency to the full extent.
  • While planning use of underground space, to consider opportunities of work performance modern technologies, equipment, materials, methods that will allow to construct underground infrastructure objects in any hydrogeological conditions, on any depth , including in historical parts of cities, since modern technologies allow to perform works practically without day surface subsidence.
  • Underground object construction should be entrusted to organizations with proper work experience.
  • Organizations engaged in the underground object construction should be interested in attraction of highly qualified specialists. For this purpose, the building companies can supervise the most skillful and advanced students during their studying providing them with materials for real graduation paper performance, additional payment to scholarship and working place by profession after completing study taking into consideration recommendation of departments of respective Institutions of Higher Education.
  • In order to prepare modern specialist in underground building that will satisfy the international working market requirements, it is necessary to develop cooperation between professional unities of different countries by sharing experience, development of scientific and educational programs in the field of professional education and organization of joint events and internships.
  • System of professional standard preparation and employment based on requirements introduced to employee by modern and perspective production technologies should be created in construction branch. This system should be open and accessible to any interested party, be updated all the time with the consideration of production and technology update. 
  • In order to provide special personnel preparation to support project-building activity and performance of all kinds of work on use of underground space, it is necessary to introduce specialist advanced training and retraining of respective City Administration Departments.

The Resolution contains high priority tasks requiring the solution in the shortest time and number of measures that will help to accelerate this process.

These recommendations take into consideration the comprehensive discussion of use of underground space issues taking place while conducting plenary and session Forum meetings on the following five themes:

  • Town-planning design of underground space,
  • Legal framework. Investments. Technical regulations,
  • Ecology. Energy efficiency. Social significance,
  • Modern technologies – the basis for "breakthrough" in the field of use of underground space,
  • Education – creation of scientific and human capacity, formation of innovative education environment in the field of use of underground space.

We summarized the results of each session meetings and considered proposals to make additions into the Forum Resolution. Representatives of Committee Underground Space of International Tunnelling Association, leading world and Russian experts in the field of use of underground space, heads of municipal educations and interested members of the public also made their suggestions and amendments. Forum Organizing Committee thinks it expedient to suggest to legislation and executive authorities of all levels to consider the possible prospects in the field of use of underground space of Russian large cities and take as a basis of further activities this document in order to solve the above mentioned concept issues. Taking into consideration serious reasons and authoritative explanations, the accepted Resolution may become the guidance to the activity to everybody who is involved in town-planning design issues of both already existing modern cities and prepared projects to realization.

Participants of the Forum categorically state that the full development of modern metropolises is impossible without use of underground space, which is proved by the world experience. We have a unique opportunity to avoid mistakes in town-planning that were made in the largest world cities and that mistakes require colossal funds in order to be corrected. In order to create comfort life conditions, redirect transport streams, order the infrastructure, re-establish the engineering communication, the system approach to complex use of underground space should be employed.

You may address your questions and suggestions to S.N. Alpatov, the Forum Director to permanently acting Forum Organizing Committee or to the office of Noncommercial Partnership "Association of builders of underground buildings, industrial and civil objects" on address: 4, Fuchika street, letter K, floor 6, Saint Petersburg, 192102, on e-mail: or on phone (812) 325-05-64, 325-05-65.