CALL FOR PAPERS Underground Space: Development, Exploration, Secondary Use



Vasylivka-Zaporizhia, Ukraine, 25-26th September 2015

With the support of European Society for Environmental and History Vasylivskyi Historical-Architectural Museum-Reserve “Popov’s Country Seat”, Ya.Novytskyi Zaporizhia Scientific Society and Historical Department of Zaporizhia National University are pleased to announce a two-day conference in environmental history of underground space.


Today the question of the underground space development is quite relevant, but for the most part it is the focus of urban planners and architects who are involved in the elaboration of the projects and recommendations for the growth of cities deep down. The reasons for inventing more and more new technologies are increasing of number and density of population, acceleration of the urbanization processes, forming of megalopolicies etc. In the majority of developed countries research centers are being established, scientific conferences are being hold, which allow to invent new approaches to the space usage. However, the development of the underground space is not necessarily related to the cities. Taking everything into account, the organizers offer to pay attention to the various approaches to the development and exploration of the underground space in the country and city, mountains and steppes, Ukraine and the whole world in different epochs.

The interaction of human and the underground was arisen in the ancient times when mainly the question of domestic use of the underground space was considering. The main attention will be focus on the historical retrospective of the development and exploration of the underground space at the conference. Why did people pay attention to the underground? What were the reasons for the usage of the underground space? Did people use natural hollows or create it themselves? Whether were the functions of the underground changed? How did people influence on the underground space? Did they damage the natural environment or find the compromise with it? In what way the knowledge of the underground was developing?

The feature of human interaction with the underground space is its secondary use. The conference organizers draw special attention to it. What were the functions of former mines, tunnels, trenches, catacombs? Is it reasonably to include the underground to the tourism industry? What are the ways of the underground space museumification?

Vasylivka of Zaporizhia region where the underground space had been being actively used by human from the ancient times was chosen as the venue of the conference. The kurgans and burial grounds on the territory of Lysa Gora, catacombs for the extraction of limestone that has been being used as touristic object, abundant underground utilities in the Popov’s palace of 19th  century etc are the evidence of intensive use of the underground space in Vasylivka.


There are no chronological and territorial restrictions of the participants’ repots. We encourage regional and comparative studies with the use of nontraditional methods of


Issues to be discussed during the conference include, but are not limited to:

  • The practices of the undergraduate exploration in ancient times
  • Burial and cemeteries
  • Household use of the underground space
  • Underground and extraction of mineral resources
  • Nuclear power and the underground
  • City and the undergraduate space
  • Transport infrastructure under the ground
  • Vaults of the estates and their functions
  •  Military conflicts and safety under the ground
  • Religious, cult and clandestine objects under the ground
  • Underground architecture
  • Underground space, impact on the ecology and protection of the natural
  • Medical, touristic and household secondary use of the underground space
  • Scientific exploration of the underground space (mapping, technology and
    methodology of the underground construction development, the impact of scientific and
    technological revolution on the development of the underground).

The participation of historians, archeologists, architects, ecologists and representatives of other disciplines at all stages of their career are expected to achieve interdisciplinary contacts.

To take part in the conference, send to olenenkoag @ ukr .net next papers:
1. CV with necessary contact information.
2. Brief abstract of report (no more than 200 words).

The conference consists of plenary session and paper sessions. Papers have to be not more than 15 minutes each. At the end of each session there will be sufficient time for general discussion. The working languages are Ukrainian, Russian and English. We are planning to publish reports of the participants after the conference.

There is no fee. It is intended the intense excursion program. All accepted participants will receive free room and board during this conference. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to Zaporizhia, but thanks to the support of European Society for Environmental History limited travel funds may be available. Travel between Zaporizhia and the conference
venue is covered by the organizers.
Contact person: Anna Olenenko

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