In 2007, for the first time in human's history, the people living in urban areas outnumbered those living in any other part of the world. Cities are continuously growing bigger and attract more people and economic activities. On the other hand, urban areas today face difficult and ever-growing problems that deteriorate their environmental quality and threaten their sustainability and resilience. ACUUS has always been in the forefront, shaping a better future for urban areas. Our organization's core ideas and philosophy support the systematic utilization of the urban underground space as the most efficient and environmentally friendly solution in order to enhance the quality of life and boost competitiveness of modern cities. We believe that modern cities and especially megacities in the 21st century can be sustainable if, and only if, they are underground, to a certain extent.
We have a history of more than 30 years of actively promoting our ideas internationally. We are proud of our multidisciplinary character that has enabled us to act as an international "think tank" in urban underground development. The MoU's we have signed with the City of St. Petersburg, the City of Shanghai (SMEDI) and with the UN-Habitat underline the key role ACUUS plays regarding underground development in urban areas. In addition, our working groups and committees work hard to provide innovative and efficient solutions in certain subjects such as fire and safety, underground infrastructure, urban geology, etc. ACUUS has also been interested in new ideas and fresh inspiration, especially from young engineers. To this end, we are running a Youth-Group office in Asia in collaboration with the Shandong University. We aspire to have such offices in Europe and the Americas in the near future. Furthermore, we recently signed a MoU with the Young Earth Scientists network (YES) that will enable us to have direct discussions, joint activities and cooperation with young engineers and geoscientists from around the world.
Our website contains a lot of information about our activities and our people. Moreover, our members have access to a valuable asset of ACUUS: the proceedings of our conferences. Our newsletter service provides insights and up-to-date information to our members regarding major underground projects, innovative solutions and advances in the field.
The beginning of 2020 we witnessed the covid-19 virus outbreak. The epidemic has since affected many countries and the everyday life of people around the world. As a result, many international events have been cancelled or postponed in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. ACUUS in close cooperation with the Organizing Committee of ACUUS2020, our 17th World conference in Helsinki, have been closely monitoring the situation. In response to the international conditions, we have decided to postpone the 17th ACUUS conference from the original dates, 15-18 September 2020 to 2-4 February 2021.
I invite you to join the experts of the urban underground space and become an ACUUS member.