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Ocean Spiral - the underwater city of the future

The Japanese are famous for many things, and one of them is certainly visions of futuristic cities. Whether it’s nuclear annihilation or the colonisation of a distant planet, visionaries from the land of the cherry blossom are fond of creating modern cities that form a closed ecosystem, separated by some sort of barrier from the
Published: December 2, 2014 - 21:13
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 09:03
Ocean Spiral – the underwater city of the future

The Japanese are famous for many things, and one of them is certainly visions of futuristic cities. Whether it’s nuclear annihilation or the colonisation of a distant planet, visionaries from the land of the cherry blossom are fond of creating modern cities that form a closed ecosystem, separated by some sort of barrier from the hostile and dangerous environment, contact with which usually ends in death. It should come as no surprise, then, that a Japanese company has taken it upon itself to make one such concept a reality.

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Construction company Shimizu has announced the possibility of creating a $25million underwater structure hiding under the name Ocean Spiral by 2030. “Ocean Spiral” is a self-sufficient, eco-friendly underwater city capable of providing shelter for 5,000 residents.

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“This is our realistic goal, not a dream,” said Hideo Imamura, spokesman for Shimizu Crop.

The construction plans call for the whole to be made up of three parts, the most distinctive of which are giant spirals topped by a sphere 500m in diameter. Hence the name of the project – Ocean Spiral. It is these 15km long spirals that are to provide living space, shopping areas and hotels for the 5,000 inhabitants.

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At the very end, at a depth of 3-4,000 metres, there will be what the project calls an ‘earth factory’, which will serve as a centre for research and development of energy sources. One of the ways of generating electricity is to exploit temperature differences in seawater. This concept is called ‘ocean thermal energy conversion’.

“The ocean provides endless possibilities. With today’s technologies, the production of heat, electricity or fresh water is not the slightest problem” – argues the company in its presentation of the underwater city.

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The design of this impressive structure is the result of the combined efforts and research capabilities of scientists from the University of Tokyo, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the government’s Fisheries Research Agency.

The entire structure is expected to be built using the future potential of large-format 3D printers, plastics and zero concrete. The assumed cost of completion is around $25.6bn, and Shimizu plans to move from the design phase into the implementation of the project within the next five years.

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One important reason for the Japanese to develop the concept of underwater habitats is the much lower risk of damage from tsunamis or earthquakes. Underwater cities will also not be threatened by the problem of rising water levels.

Are we witnessing a step forward in the colonisation of the oceans? The coming years will show to what extent everything is in the theory phase and to what extent it is a real prospect. Either way, it is good to know that the final frontier (a term taken from the Star Trek V film ‘Final Frontier’), is being stormed all the time and will probably one day be opened wide.

Source: shimz.co.jp

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Autorka niezliczonych tekstów o nurkowaniu, miłośniczka podróży.
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