Plans for underwater city by Japanese developers
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Plans for underwater city by Japanese developers

Yachting & Boating World: Japanese company Shimizu Corp claim technology to build sustainable housing on the seabed will be ready by 2030.


Japanese developers have unveiled innovative plans to build a sustainable underwater city. Shimizu Corp are claiming the technology required to build housing on the seabed will be ready by 2030.

“The ocean has an infinite amount of possibilities,” the firm said, as they reveal a blueprint for underwater living. This is a real goal, not a pipe dream,” Shimizu spokesman Hideo Imamura told the Guardian.

The sustainable Ocean Spiral, expected to cost three trillion yen (£16bn), will house 5,000 people, and draw energy from the seabed. Shimizu Corp has developed the project as a sustainable solution to rising sea levels.

The structure will be formed of three sections; a floating bubble of 500 metres in diameter called the Ocean Spiral’s Blue Garden, at the surface of the sea will house business, homes and hotels. The Infra Spiral – 15km spiral will connect this sphere to the ‘earth factory,’ where energy will be taken from the seabed in order to power the structure.

The factory will turn carbon dioxide into methane by extracting microorganisms, while generators will use differences in seawater temperature will produce power. Hydraulic pressure systems will also produce and pump fresh water into the housing pod.

The project is being developed and backed by experts from Tokyo University, government ministries and energy firms. Project manager Masaki Takeuchi told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper: “It would be great if research institutions and governments become interested in our project. However, not everyone is blown away by the plans; assistant professor in the urban studies department at Tokyo University, Christian Dimmer said: “techno-utopias” such as Ocean Spiral were a response to crises.

“It’s good that many creative minds are picking their brains as to how to deal with climate change, rising sea levels and the creation of resilient societies – but I hope we don’t forget to think about more open and democratic urban futures in which citizens can take an active role in their creation, rather than being mere passengers in a corporation’s sealed vision of utopia,” Dimmer said.

Shizimu Corp are not new to developing extravagant projects, others among their portfolio include floating botanical cities, a crystal palace-esque air pyramid, and a space hotel.
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