Saint Petersburg is a city of unique architecture, representing world best design traditions; it had been the capital of Russian Empire from its foundation in 1703 until the beginning of XX century, when the title was returned to Moscow. The image of the city and infrastructure are results of its specific history of construction. In contrast with constantly expanding around original fortresses Russian and European cities of that time, Saint Petersburg was laid out according to General Plan approved by Russian Tsar Peter the Great. He decided to regulate city planning and put into implementation best ideas of local and foreign planners and architects, with world experience being used along with state-of-art technologies of their time. Architectural ensembles of Saint Petersburg, with a lot of them being under protection of UNESCO, require attention and special care during implementation of any kind of construction work nearby for the sake of preserving historical heritage.
The land of Saint Petersburg is known for its high impact of urbanization on geological environments. Urban underground space contains a large number of structures of different assignments (underground rapid transit system tunnels, wastewater disposal, sewers). City has difficult geological and geotechnical conditions due to waste distribution of unsustainable watered grounds, quick-response to industrial impact.
In the same time Saint Petersburg, often being called the Northern Capital, is the second largest city of Russia with a population of more than 5 million people, a big industrial and administrative center. Common for most of world big cities issues are familiar to Saint Petersburg, with 1 million people living in its historical center: high-density traffic, lack of parking places, pollution, imperfect public transport system. At the moment many cities around the world for solving these issues implement their programs related to underground space use.
Saint Petersburg has always been a center of excellence and a place where a lot of advanced ideas were implemented. It is a significant science center, with unique technics being developed and foreign technologies being adapted to local circumstances. Thus, at the moment it develops into the center of underground space research, a place where new technologies are to be applied. The ACUUS conference, being held in Saint Petersburg, is a reasoned and well-timed event. The Conference will fuel integrated underground space use in our country and provide the right development course for one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
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