Flashmag Digizine Edition Issue 110 October 2020 - Page 188

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Flashmag October 2020 www.flashmag.net

Stockholm, Sweden underground Metro

"We do not seem to realize that we are losing large areas of arable land each year at an alarming rate, where we should instead be increasing them to feed the growing world population," said this expert. However, "the underground spaces could easily be used for agriculture", he affirmed, while visiting the Bourbon Tunnel, built under the city of Naples to offer King Ferdinand II of Bourbon an escape after the riots of 1848.

Scientific breakthroughs in areas such as aquaponics, a system that brings together culture and fish farming, can also help increase the supply of food products, without increasing the area under cultivation, while greatly reducing transport costs if necessary. such "farms" are installed under the cities.

Soybean or lupine for meat

Some plants like fennel, radish, coriander or even lettuce are already grown underground, says Admiraal. "We could consider adding plants like soybeans or lupine, which can be used to produce more protein foods, which can serve as a meat substitute", thus reducing our dependence on one of the bigger ones, responsible for global warming: the meat industry.

"We could also think of the use of underground parking lots: we know that cars kill cities. We are moving to electric cars, to autonomous cars, to sharing. The question is therefore whether all of these spaces will still be useful in the future, in the same way they are today ", adds the expert.

From Boston to Oslo, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle and Sydney, infrastructures such as multi-lane highways are already buried and the freed-up spaces, converted into parks, reports Antonia Conaro, expert in urban planning. "Cities where population growth is very strong, and which lack resources, are looking for innovative ways to develop," she explains. "They are considering, for example, building floating cities but realize that this is not necessarily the solution because it affects marine life and they are difficult to build. So why not look underground?" Adds Ms. Conaro. , member, like Mr. Admiraal, of the international committee on underground space (Itacus).