Mapping subsurface qualities for planning purposes: a pilot study
Paper i proceeding, 2021

The subsurface can be used for a variety of purposes in the urban environment and the subsurface should ultimately be seen as a multifunctional resource, offering a multitude of benefits to humans and the society. Underground construction is commonly planned according to the first come, first served principle and later claims on other resources in the subsurface will have to adapt, often at high costs, or are made impossible. This pilot study is a first step in developing a method aiming to investigate a procedure for mapping an area's subsurface resources, having the multifunctionality of the subsurface in mind, and integrating this information into urban planning processes. A mapping of the existing resources (supporting, provisioning, regulating, cultural) used at present and their future potential is presented, and an analysis, using an interaction matrix, of how the different subsurface resources can influence each other (conflicts and synergies) if the use(s) changes. Conclusions are that: 1) the concept of geosystem services can strongly support the communication about the subsurface between civil/geotechnical engineers and planners; 2) there is a need at the municipality or city level for systematised and digital 3D archives for easy access to information in relevant format; 3) planning based on the perspective that the subsurface has multiple resources, makes subsurface planning not only a metropolitan issue but also relevant for smaller municipalities. Further work is suggested to: i) explore the concept of geosystem services in a planning context; ii) suggest at which planning level different geosystem services can be optimally managed; and iii) develop tools to support planners for handling subsurface conflicts and acknowledge synergies.

Urban environments

Multiple resources

Interaction matrices


Subsurface planning

Underground construction

Planning process


Subsurface quality



Jenny Norrman

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

Lars O Ericsson

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

Kristina L. Nilsson

Luleå tekniska universitet

Yevheniya Volchko

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

Anders Markstedt

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

Victoria Svahn

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

Göteborgs Stad

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

17551307 (ISSN) 17551315 (eISSN)

Vol. 703 1 012011

17th World Conference of the Associated Research Centers for the Urban Underground Space: Integrated Underground Solutions for Compact Metropolitan Cities, ACUUS 2020
Helsinki, virtual, Finland,

SUB Hållbar resursanvändning av undermarksrymden

BeFo - stiftelsen bergteknisk forskning, 2016-07-01 -- 2021-08-31.

Formas (942-2016-50), 2016-07-01 -- 2021-06-30.


Hållbar utveckling


Building Futures (2010-2018)


Annan geovetenskap och miljövetenskap

Annan samhällsbyggnadsteknik



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