Japanese Reveal Design For First Underwater City


Roughly 70% of the surface is covered by water.  It only makes sense to try to inhabit some of that area, especially with the world’s population expecting to reach 9.6 billion by the year 2050.  A Japanese architecture company has released its design for what will be the world’s first underwater city.  They hope to start building this project within the next 20 years.

This underwater city would be able to hold 5000 citizens, and the electricity and desalinated water supplies come from the actual city which extends down into the sea.  The goal is essentially to make an off land totally sustainable community.  Who could argue with that idea?

While we may not see this 26 billion dollar project come to life overnight, this is one of the coolest concepts out there.

The project’s officials are looking forward to securing funding from private industry and the government as it’s also supported by experts from Tokyo University.

Masaki Takeuchi, the manager of the project reportedly said to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper:

“It would be great if research institutions and governments become interested in our project.”


The 3 Parts of Ocean Spiral:

  1. The first part is the floating surface, which will be topped by a 500-meter sphere.
  2. According to the blueprint, the central part is a spiral 15km long with room for business zones, apartments, residential areas and hotel rooms for 5000 people.
  3. At the very bottom at about 3000 to 4000 thousand meters under the sea the spiral will be linked to an “earth-factory” – a research center for developing energy sources.

The Shimizu spokesman told the Wall Street Journal:

“This is just a blueprint by our company, but we are aiming to develop the technology that would enable us to build an underwater living space.”

The assistant professor in the urban studies department at Tokyo University, Christian Dimmer, claimed that these “techno-utopias” such as Ocean Spiral came as a reaction to other crises like climate change and rising sea levels. He reportedly told The Guardian:

“We had this in Japan in the 1980s, when the same corporations were proposing underground and ‘swimming’ cities and 1km-high towers as part of the rush to development during the height of the bubble economy. 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.”

According to the Guardian:

“The idea of creating communities in the sea resonates in Japan, where land-based communities are at risk from large earthquakes and tsunamis.”

The company also revealed that the spiral structure would descend as much as 9 miles to the seabed, where an “earth factory” would produce methane from carbon dioxide by using micro-organisms.






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This article was inspired by Huffington Post