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Japan Firm Plans First Underwater City Powered by Renewables

Just weeks after the ESA made the first-ever landing on a comet, another cutting-edge proposal to tackle an unexplored frontier, has been laid on the table, but this time, the vision is the deep sea according to Inhabitat.

After 2 years of design development, the Tokyo-based Shimizu Corporation just presented blueprints for the world’s first underwater city – and by the firm’s estimates, it could be completed in just a few decades at a cost of $26 billion. The project is dubbed the “Ocean Spiral” which will use sustainable energy. It will be Atlantis-like city is the latest futuristic idea proposed by Shimizu.

Shimizu Corp’s vision of the spherical city is divided into three parts, with the underwater city contained in a 1,600 feet wide sphere that could accommodate up to 5,000 residents and can comprise mixed-use developments where people can work, live and play. The underwater spherical city floats at the surface of the sea, but it can also descend down a 9-mile long spiral pathway going into the deeper depths during storms or any bad weather. The spiral pathway is connected to a research facility, which has the ability to excavate the seabed for any precious metals and create energy for the city above taking advantage of the temperature differences in the sea water.

Shimizu spokesperson Masataka Noguchi said that the project is just a blueprint by the company, but they are aiming to create and develop the technology that would enable them to build an underwater living space. Desalinated water would be created using hydraulic pressure and fish farms would be built around the spherical structure. The proposal also mentions harnessing the power of sea microorganisms in converting carbon dioxide to methane.

Although the project may seem gargantuan and farfetched, Shimizu’s proposal accentuate fears of sea level rise and loss of land-based habitable environments. The design was realised with help from the University of Tokyo researchers, the Fisheries Research Agency and the Japan Agency for marine-Earth Science and Technology.

The company estimates that the technology to roll out “Ocean Spiral” will be in place by 2030.

Click here to read full story on Inhabitat

Image credit: Inhabitat


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