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Asian experts champion underground infrastructure

Transport and utility infrastructure in the future will have to go underground if we are to achieve sustainable and economic urban development, Tunnelling 20Twenty conference delegates heard this week.

International Tunnelling Association president In-Mo Lee told delegates at NCE’s Tunnelling 20Twenty conference in Hong Kong that the use of undergound space in cities had to be embraced by governments across the world.

“The only choice for metropolitan cities will be to go underground,” he said. “We need to promote the use of underground structures for transport, leisure, flood control, storage and power and water supply as key to sustainable urban development.”

The point was emphasised by Shanghai’s Tongji University professor Bai Yun who pointed out that China currently invests 15-20% of its GDP in infrastructure.

“Right now in China around 46% of the population is living in urban areas,” he said. “But this is increasing by 1% every year. We need to plan our infrastructure to cope with these extra millions of people living in cities.”

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