Underground Cities – History repeats itself

Following on my previous post focusing on alternative urban lifestyles, I began to consider the plight of our ancient ancestors and how archaeological evidence proves that underground living has been going on for many many millennia.

The ancient underground city  of Derinkuyu, in Turkey is some 11 storeys deep and large enough to house up to 50,000 people.

Of course there are plenty of underground installations across North America; Seattle, Portland, Leavenworth in Kansas, Havre, Montana, and of course Montreal to name a few. Although many are now no more than shabby tourist attractions, they are evidence of an alternative lifestyle.

Connected to metro stations and shopping districts, Montreal’s “underground city” boasts 20 miles of tunnels, making it the largest construction of its type in the entire world.

The UK, especially beneath London and surrounding area is home to a vast cave network that was used extensively during WW2 and before that by prisoners, pirates and the heroes of local folklore. The Parisian catacombs are another example, housing a limestone quarry which was excavated to build much of Paris, the dead only take up a small part of the labyrinth.

Giza is now known to have extended vastly beneath ground in what has been termed as ‘The City of God’ thought to have been the seat of ancient Egyptian teachings, with a sophisticated network of underground rivers and twelve palaces, connected by tunnels.

Beijing have their own Cold War inspired subterranean city, which although non-operational could be utilised in the face of necessity. Whilst private bunker development increases by some 1000%, a far more sustainable approach surely is to pool resources.