Underground City: Will the Past become the Present?

Call me silly, but every time I think of underground city my imagination carries me to a world where a structured society is reinforced by tribes of mole people living deep under the earth surface.

So when the Urban Fox team visited the ancient multi-level Derinkuyu Underground City in the Cappadocia region of Turkey, I was fantasizing the past occupants as fictional underground mutants capable of surviving with a lack of vitamin-D running their Christian daily life in my head (the Derinkuyu Underground City was once occupied by the Byzantine Christians as a hiding place from Muslim Arabs, Mongolian incursions, and Ottoman ruling in the history).

Snapping out of my ridiculous daydream, this secretive underground city is massive! With a capacity to house up to 20,000 people, it has a structured ventilation and water system all carved out of the soft limestone. The archaeological reference within these spaces really justifies civilizations once existed in this interconnected man-made underground caves.

Seeing this previous densely occupied underground cave now as hollow as it can get, I can't help but wonder about the fate of the present-day busy underground networks. Will modern underground cities such as Montreal RÉSO, Toronto PATH, or Georgia Underground Atlanta be as bustling as they are now in a few hundred years? Or will they be deemed socially dysfunctional and thus be demolished or abandoned?

One thing I am certain is, unless a disaster strike, these people-filled, lively underground streets will not be replaced by the slightly eerie, cold and damp atmosphere similarly to the Derinkuyu historical site ambiance anytime in the near future.

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