Underwater City Could Save Islanders from Rising Seas

Presently, more than 70 percent of the planet is covered in water. As Earth’s temperature rises, more land will submerge. With that in mind, architects and engineers from the Japanese firm Shimizu conceived of the Ocean Spiral, an underwater eco-city designed for deep-sea living. The 15-km-long structure winds down from the ocean’s surface to the seafloor and is topped with a 500-meter sphere.

It’s a wildly innovative idea, but the designers think the project makes sense, since deep-sea cities would be less vulnerable to tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes and rising tides. The spiral would “dramatically improve the sustainability of human society on the earth,” they write in their proposal.

he tip of the sphere, called the Blue Garden Grand Entrance, breaks the water’s surface to provide entry and exit points to the world below. Ships, deep-sea exploration boats and subs could transport people to and from the surface.

Inside the dome, the Blue Garden Atrium offers residents and visitors an expansive promenade and central plaza with shops and restaurants.

Beneath the dome, a spiral structure winds down toward the seafloor. Along it, three major sections — one for business, one for residential living and one for hotels — accommodate about 5,000 people. A factory located at the bottom of the structure would use microorganisms called methanogens to convert carbon dioxide into methane, which would be used to generate energy.

A process called ocean thermal energy conversion, which harnesses the temperature differences at the surface and bottom of the ocean to produce electricity, could also be used to produce energy and desalinate water. Vegetable gardens and fish farms can be grown for food using modern aquaculture techniques.

Shimizu estimates that the structure would take about five years to build and cost $25.6 billion.



  1. Mr WordPress
    Mr WordPress 2 December, 2014, 05:49

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