In 2000, the National Academy of Engineering published a list of the 20 engineering achievements in the 20th century that included electrifi cation, the automobile, water supply and distribution, computers, telephone, air conditioning and refrigeration, highways, the Internet, petrochemical mechanization, laser and fi ber optics, nuclear technologies, and high performance materials (NAE, 2000).


Many of these achievements have been described as mainstays of contemporary urban life (Papay, 2002), and many of the essential services linked to them are delivered using the urban underground during some stage of production, storage, and distribution. Maintenance and improvement of those services, as well as of the quality of life in urban regions, depend on a steady stream of investment and technological innovation.

Human activity and population growth, however, are transforming the nation and planet. Long-term challenges for society include learning how humans can prosper without continued degradation of Earth (Kammen and Jacobson, 2006) and how to make suitable and sustainable adaptations. Improving or even sustaining current standards of living in the future will place more stress on earth systems, especially in urban environments where population increases are expected. UNDERGROUND ENGINEERING

Approximately 80 percent of people living in the United States live in urban areas (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011). Approximately 53 percent of the American population lives within 50 miles of a coast (Markham, 2008) at a time when global climate change is predicted to have signifi cant coastal impacts including sea level rise, changes in weather patterns (e.g., IPCC, 2007), and degradation of drinking water supplies (IPCC, 2008). Meanwhile, some suggest short-term focus needs to be on design and adoption of community-based strategies to reduce vulnerability to the potentially destructive impacts of climate change throughout the nation (NRC, 2010).UNDERGROUND ENGINEERING

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