The value of underground development

The underground can make an important contribution to rendering the Netherlands more liveable. For example, there is often too little space in the overground urban environment to fit projects into it. The underground can lead to a solution there.

Building underground is often associated with high costs, complexity and risks. Then again, there are many benefits that can be realised, like improved accessibility, improvement of the quality of the local environment and more surface space for other purposes. Sometimes, unexpected benefits emerge afterwards that had no influence in the decision making.

By carrying out an analysis of social costs and benefits of realised underground projects (ex post) and an analysis of the decision making and argumentation thereabout (ex post), the actual (added) value of underground space use is made clear. With this goal in mind, the Knowledge Centre for underground development and underground space use (COB), in coorporation with Triple Bridge and other parties, has started a project in which 10 to 15 realised underground projects will be evaluated.

The results will be translated into a conversation framework for directors to better weigh up the choice for an underground solution. In addition, the results are input for urban designers (benefit-targeted design).

Lidwien Besselink manages this research project. More information about the research programme can be found here [in Dutch].