Proceedings of the the 14th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

Fifty years ago only 10% of the world population lived in urban areas. Nowadays this percentage has reached about 50% and it might increase to reach a 70% in 2025. On the other hand, the number of large cities with five to ten millions inhabitants has been increasing from 18 in 1970 to 22 in 1990, and will reach 33 towards 2010, 21 of them belonging to developing countries. Such forecasts justify the need for studying the urban environments in order to ensure that this development will occur in a sustainable mode.
This essentially means that the satisfaction of our present needs should not compromise the possibilities of future generations to satisfy their own needs.
The objective of the 14th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering is to provide a venue for geotechnical engineers and scientists involved with Soil Mechanics to present new achievements and experiences. The proposed main theme of the Conference is 'Geotechnical Engineering in Urban Environments'
Along with the geotechnical problems related to man-made grounds treated in past European meetings, the purpose of this Conference theme is to extend the geotechnical implications to any type of urban problems: the planning and execution of deep excavations, underground works; rehabilitation of existing buildings (some of them of high artistic or historical value) and infrastructures, which have been solving vital problems for the city in the last decades.
In doing so, any technique of ground improvement may be useful depending upon the specific soil conditions and their possible evolution which should be clearly established based on the experience gained with previous investigations. The new Eurocodes on Geotechnics point out the role of comparable experiences in harmonizing the geotechnical design in different European countries.

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