Future Underground Cities: Safe & Cozy? with a Georgist perspective

Montreal’s RESO — Underground City

Underground Cities will be a reality in the human future, for multiple reasons. Many of us, especially claustrophobes, view this prediction with horror and disgust, but that’s unnecessary. Subterranean existence has been wildly successful for many species like earthworms, gophers, ants; homo sapiens might be the next ecstatic burrowers.

Who’s happier than a meerkat, really? If we dig deeply enough into the soil, perhaps we can achieve the giddy socialization of the chatty Kalahari mobs that are feminist and cooperative models of altruism.

Why would humanity descend into the bowels of the earth? Here’s four catastrophic reasons:

Additionally, here’s three reasons that are less urgent, with significant benefits:

Living in Underground Cities can also protect inhabitants from wildfires, tsunamis, conventional warfare, toxic air, volcanic activity.

proposed underground park for New York

Truth is, humanity has always built communities in the planet’s interior. A 5,000 year old underground city was recently unearthed in Cappadocia [8], large enough to accommodate 20,000 people, plus their livestock and food, with tunnels seven kilometers long, and hundreds of escape passages. Similar constructions took place in Naours, France and Orvieto, Italy around 2,000 years ago.

Today, Montreal’s RESO, aka Underground City [9] contains 20 miles of tunnels and 35% of the city’s commercial area, with 1,000 offices, 2,000 stores, nine hotels, 200 restaurants, four universities, 40 cinemas. It is visited by 500,000 people daily, who enjoy the warmth in winter. Helsinki, in Finland, also has extensive underground amenities.

Three negative aspects of underground living are:

Underground cities would probably take the shape of inverted skyscrapers if society was structured with a Georgist economy that levied a single, land value tax on the size of the surface ground. Georgist economies would encourage underground building, because “stacking” chambers underneath each other would result in a lower LVT cost. Georgism supports vertical development, up and down. [13]

Today’s present technology is fully equipped to build underground. Oil drills plunge 6,000 feet down; tunnel boring machines horizontally excavate 60 feet per day. Montreal developed air purifiers that not only extract dust, allergens and odors, they also destroy 99% of the Covid-19 virus. Plant food can be easily grown hydroponically underground with grow lights; mushrooms actually grow faster in the dark, or with minimal light.

Is dwelling underground what we want? For most of us, no, but it is reassuring to realize the option exists. Ideally, if it happens, our psychologies will adjust, and perhaps even thrive, like the comfortable meerkats that snuggle in heaps, groom each other, and cheerfully share all responsibilities.


[1] https://english.pravda.ru/russia/135749-moscow_nuclear_war/

[2] https://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/1023212/world-war-three-safe-countries-nuclear-underground-bunkers-russia-military-testing

[3] https://www.businessinsider.com/deadly-heat-waves-could-destroy-india-pakistan-and-bangladesh-2017-8

[4] https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/news/2021/02/asteroid-dust-found-in-crater-closes-case-of-dinosaur-extinction/

[5] https://www.mining.com/web/greenland-minerals-says-it-is-focused-on-rare-earths-not-uranium/

[6] https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27052020/trillion-trees-climate-change/

[7] https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20150421-will-we-ever-live-underground

[8] https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/massive-ancient-underground-city-discovered-in-turkeys-nevsehir--76196

[9] https://icycanada.com/underground-city-montreal-a-visitors-guide/#:~:text=Tourists%20worldwide%20come%20to%20visit%20this%20underground%20city%2C,tunnels.%20In%20winters%2C%20the%20Montreal%20underground%20remains%20warm.

[10] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/202002/how-make-happier-home

[11] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/37062

[12] https://qz.com/601561/scandinavians-untranslatable-word-for-winter-coziness-might-explain-why-theyre-they-happiest-people-on-earth/

[13] https://future-perfect-think-tank.org/future-vertical-cities-aided-by-georgism-will-gurantee-progress-and-environmental-benefits

Other Essays on Georgism

13 Strategies to Advance Georgism

Henry George’s Land Value Tax from 1879 can solve today’s housing crises and reduce inequality

Vertical Cities — aided by Georgism — will be healthy, democratic, and green

Geo-Tinyism — fusing two ideologies to advance progressive values



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Pellissier Solutionist, Georgist, Municipalist, Kropotkinist, Transhumanist, Anti-War

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