Cities across the world are working with geoscientists to improve their understanding of the sub-surface in their urban planning. In India, what can be a better place than Varanasi, the oldest known city in India, to set the foundation of the ‘future city’? IIT Kharagpur in collaboration with the British Geological Survey is in the process of developing plans to undertake this gargantuan initiative. Three dimensional geological modelling of the geology under Varanasi will be prepared to help improve the building of new transport and service infrastructure, the preservation of archaeological sites, the management of flooding hazards and the sustainability of water supplies.
Investment in the challenges of urbanization is growing. But globally, few cities have a central database or planning system that incorporates the subsurface into the decision tree. Across India we are unaware of any examples, although in North America, Europe and other parts of Asia (e