Down-town 1/3 | Osnabrück 2019
Recently, I visited Michael Wolf's photo exhibition. In many of his series he focuses on how human dignity is compromised in overcrowding cities, pushing people closer and closer together like lifestock due to lack of living space.
So I looked up ideas of urban planners and encountered the not so new concept of "underground cities". Years ago Taisei Corporation for example suggested to build one underneath of Tokyo: Alice City.
If more and more people populate the earth, overcrowding especially the urban areas, going down-town literally (!) doesn't sound so bad, does it?
I wanted to mull over the idea on one of my nightwalks...
Down-town 2/3 | Osnabrück 2019
No natural light was my first thought. Although I'm a nightowl - so used to artificial light - the idea of being completely dependent on artificial light sources when living down-town feels... suffocating. No other option available.
As I'm mentioning suffocating: No matter how deep those construction companies and engineers plan to dig in the holes, the physical constraints of space will be felt.
On the other hand, with more people natural resources like clean water and yes, air will be scarcer and scarcer. Filtered air and water have to be provided to the underground cities anyway, so these seem like safe living spaces of the future.
However, I'm afraid only privileged people would be "allowed" to live in those better living spaces. And when there's privilege, there's also lack of privilege on the other side, the asymmetry of access to resources would only increase.
But is it a privilege to live in an artificial cave/cage pardon city down there?
Down-town 3/3 | Osnabrück 2019
Is it a privilege to live in an artificial city down there? It could be "safer" in the future but wouldn't I feel even more like cattle? Maybe the surface of the earth would be unbearable for human life and there would be no other option?
After reading and watching one too many (horror) dystopian stories and movies, my mind keeps spinning: What if the power sources shut down completely? No more light and no further air or water.
More than enough narratives have dealt with human nature and what it does when it has to fight (for resources) to survive. We know how it will look like, don't we?
These thoughts scared me way more than the underground garages I took pictures of during my night stroll.
At least there are no human beings in sight. ◾