This volume contains the proceedings of the 13th World Conference of the Associated research Centers for the Urban Underground Space (ACUUS 2012) held in Singapore on 7-9 November 2012. The conference received more than 350 abstracts from 30 countries and, after the review and selection process by the scientific committee, a total of 159 papers from 26 countries were accepted for presentation at the conference and for inclusion in this volume.

The main theme for ACUUS 2012 Singapore is “Underground Space Development – Opportunities and Challenges.” This theme was chosen to emphasize the unprecedented opportunities for simultaneously improving urban infrastructure and urban livability while at the same time recognizing the special challenges faced in creating underground spaces – both from a human design perspective and in terms of technical and cost challenges. Equally important is the need to move from the creation of underground facilities as a haphazard, first-come first served network of structures to a well-planned use of underground space that can serve the needs of urban areas for future generations as well as our own.

The papers received are indeed very diverse and wide-ranging covering the entire spectrum of disciplines dealing with underground space. They are grouped according to these topic areas: planning and design, architecture, fire and life safety, geo-engineering and rock mechanics, tunneling and excavation, underground engineering, underground infrastructure and applications, and sustainability and resilience.

The ACUUS conference series has been held previously in Sydney (Australia, 1983), Minneapolis (USA, 1986), Shanghai (China, 1988), Tokyo (Japan, 1991), Delft (The Netherlands, 1992) , Paris (France, 1995), Montreal (Canada, 1997), Xi’an (China, 1999), Turin (Italy, 2002), Moscow (Russia, 2005), Athens (Greece, 2007), and Shenzhen (China, 2009). Singapore, with its small land area, high population density, strong planning traditions and high aspirations for a successful, livable and sustainable future, was an ideal location for the continuation of the conference series.

ACUUS 2012 Singapore was fortunate to attract the largest number of papers since the start of the ACUUS conference series in 1983. This represents the growing importance and use of underground space in world wide economic development and the increasing interest and investment in research and development effort in this area.

The conference was organized by the Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology Singapore, and supported by the Ministry of National Development Singapore and the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau.

Yingxin ZHOU, Singapore
Jungang CAI, Singapore