Are We Going Underground?

What will happen to humans when climate change really gets going? Some scientists think we’ll shrink to hobbit-size to give us a chance to survive in a world with much less nourishment. 

Regardless, it will surely be tough and we may end up underground. Here are some ideas people are putting into practice that might be more useful than they seem today. 

Growing Underground – London

What was once a WWII bomb shelter is being turned into a subterranean urban farm underneath the streets of London.

100 feet below the street is a 2.5-acre test hydroponic farm being developed by the non-profit Zero Carbon Food. Farming in a tunnel has its advantages – temperatures stay at a steady 60 degrees all year long. No pesticides needed, very little water, powered by LEDs – brings fresh micro-greens like watercress and red amaranth to people that live above. And the space – two long tunnels – is cheap.

To build out Growing Underground they are crowdfunding and investors are enthusiastic – having contributed about $500,000 in its equity campaign – there are four days left. They start growing this fall.

Urban Farm London Underground

Highline – London

Another idea for London’s empty tunnels is "Lowline," which would turn some into an underground park and mushroom farm. 

Dark spaces are perfect for growing mushrooms. A series of glass sculptural mushrooms at street level would let in light and also point the way down for visitors. ‘Funghi’ restaurants and cafés would be at each entrance.

Lowline – New York City

In NYC, a group is working on the world’s first underground park. After raising funds through crowdfunding, they are in the process of converting an abandoned, underground trolley station into a one-acre park.

Below the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the site has been vacant since 1948, but it still has cobblestones and vaulted ceilings.

Metro Stations – Paris

A mayoral candidate piqued people’s interests when she suggested turning a dozen empty subway stations into a  theater, an art gallery, a swimming pool, a nightclub, and a restaurant.

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