With constant news reports of global warming, endangerment of precious animal and plant species, degradation of forests and various ecosystems, fracking, and the list goes on, it’s really easy to feel anxious and fearful about the future of the planetary body on which we exist. The concerns and challenges we face on this planet are very real and present, but let us also look at the silver linings around what seems to be a very dark and ominous cloud. New technologies and solutions are popping up all over the place as responses to planetary crises and one of the most unique and exciting examples out there has got to be the sophisticated underwater deep-sea city design of the Japanese architecture firm Shimizu Corporation.
According to Shimizu Corporation, the development on land is becoming exhausted and new methods are needed to create sustainable options for the future. According the Shimizu website,
“Approximately 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean, and the ocean itself consists of approximately 80% deep sea. The deep sea offers enormous potential for ensuring effective and appropriate cycles and processes in the earth’s biosphere. Unfortunately, we have yet to make the most of this potential. This large-scale concept seeks to take advantage of the limitless possibilities of the deep sea by linking together vertically the air, sea surface, deep sea, and sea floor. Now is the time for us to create a new interface with the deep sea, the earth’s final frontier. Breaking free from past patterns of land development, which have focused mainly on efficiency, this plan is intended to promote true sustainability while maximizing use of the deep sea’s resources.”
Shimizu has devised a progressive and exciting design for a spherical transparent city, rooted to the sea floor by a long transport spiral, which would house a fully functional city existing in the watery world of the deep sea. This spherical design would be 900m in length (about the length of 4 football fields) and would include residential housing, public spaces, and undersea business development opportunities.
What makes this concept a really exciting possibility for the future is that it is not only sustainable in design- creating no pollution, but that it actually transforms existing pollution in the form of Co2 emissions into clean energy. This would serve as a major and brilliant solution to the increasing problem of Co2 emissions that are harmful to the atmosphere. The structure’s design utilizes thermal energy conversion technology (harnessing the energy inherent in the shifting temperatures of ocean water).
Where the spiral structure descends into the ocean floor is a base that would serve as a place for operations to harvest renewable food supply from ocean life including the breeding of such organisms to create limitless food supply. Structures are also built into various parts of the entire design to monitor water temperatures, surrounding marine life, and the activity in shifts of the earth’s plates. This deep sea underwater city would be safe from natural disasters such as the flooding, earthquakes, and tornadoes that prove major threats to communities stationed on land.
What would life feel like inside this futuristic underwater sphere? Shimizu describes some amenities and features on their website,
“In the Casual Zone facing the deep sea, people can experience and enjoy the deep sea, while learning about and discussing its unique qualiti
-Deep sea sightseeing tours -Hands-on education on the deep sea -Deep sea high-concentration oxygen therapy -Comfortable and safe places to live and work.”
Shimizu also goes on to explain that living in their undersea sphere they call ‘Blue Garden Sphere’ would have benefits surpassing those available from on-land establishments.
“Blue Garden is a sphere measuring 500m in diameter that floats in the deep sea like a spaceship. This city is even safer and more comfortable than the land-based ones we all know.”
-A comfortable city with minimal temperature changes
-A safe city unaffected by typhoons or earthquakes
-A healthy city with higher concentrations of oxygen than on the ground
The Blue Garden city under the sea with it’s advanced technologies, futuristic lifestyle amenities, and dedication to sustainability and the transformation of pollution problems sounds like a utopian dream. But will it actually become a reality? Shimizu Corporation estimates that the time it will take for the technology necessary to be sufficiently developed and for the funds to be in place, the project could realistically be in works around 2035. It’s construction, they estimate, would require approximately 5 years. While 2035 seems a long way off, it is within reach. Most importantly, we can see more and more the direction we are going as a species and world community towards create solutions which can simultaneously create sustainable lifestyle options while offering improvements to the earth-damaging systems currently in place.
What do you think? Would you live in an undersea city-sphere? Leave your comments below.
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