Intelligent Subsurface Design

The theme focuses on the urban renewal of (delta) metropolises and concentrates on the question how to design resilient, durable (subsurface) infrastructure in urban renewal projects using parameters of the natural system – linking in an efficient way (a) water cycle, (b) soil and subsurface conditions, (c) soil improvement technology, and (d) opportunities in urban renewal (e.g. urban growth or shrinkage). The subsurface is the technical space, the engine room of a city, housing the vital functions of water, electricity, sewers and drainage, but also housing the natural system that is crucial for a stable, green, healthy and livable city. Especially the effects of climate change, the boosts for an energy transition and the fact that there are less financial mean makes the intelligent use of the subsurface more important. The question “how can the different technological artefacts in the subsurface be synchronized offering more space and adding to a better urban quality?” is answered by working with the municipality in an interdisciplinary explorative research and design.

Theme Leader:

dr. Fransje Hooimeijer
Lafleur, F., van de Ven, F.H.M., Clemens, F.H.L.R., Broere, W., Laumann, S.J., Klaassen, R.G., Marinetti, C. 

Related Research Projects: 

Intelligent SUBsurface Quality – I

Intelligent SUBsurface Quality – II

Resilient Infrastructure and Environment

Related Publications/ Examples: 
Hooimeijer, F. L., & Maring, L. (2018). The significance of the subsurface in urban renewal. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 1-26.

Related Education: 

Transitional Territories Graduation Studio

 EMU Post-Master in Urbanism Spring Semester

Related Graduation Projects/ Examples: 

van Loenen, A. (2018) Waterproof Gouda: The creation of new spatial pathways to connect climate sustainability with monumental preservation. TUDelft A+BE MSc thesis, July 2018.

Nasiem, V. (2018) Activate resilience of the Miyagi coast. TUDelft A+BE MSc thesis, July 2018.

van der Graaf, P.C. (2014) Using the subsoil in the urban design process. TUDelft A+BE MSc thesis, December 2014. 


Brad Downey, Beginning and The End
Public Work
2010, Hamburg, Germany
Commissioned by Dockville Kunst Camp
Material: bricks, concrete, metal support beams, sand, 1.9 x 6 m.