For the past decade, I’ve noticed that Hollywood has been pushing a disturbing narrative, centered around an “End of The World” apocalypse, that has left me with a little anxiety. Zombies, incurable disease outbreaks, and alien invasions have become a trope on the big screen; so much so, that folks are digesting this as normal. And this led me to start questioning what would happen if fiction became a reality.
Where would we go? Where could we live? Could human life even continue?
Conspiracy theory, I know. But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. So I did a little research and found a complex that mirrors my own solution to this potential problem: The Underground City.
Located beneath Beijing, China, The Underground City is a bomb shelter built for the purpose of military defense. According to China.org, this complex is a relic of the Sino-Soviet Border War of 1969 when then chairman, Mao Zedong, ordered its construction in case of a nuclear attack. It was built by more than 300,000 local citizens, and the tunnels are over 30 kilometers and cover an area of 85 square kilometers that are eight to eighteen meters under the surface. The tunnels are linked to all areas of central Beijing, from Xidan and Xuanwumen to Qianmen and Chongwen districts to the Western Hills. And in the event of an attack, the plan was to house forty percent of the capital’s population underground and have the remainder move to neighboring hills.
The Underground City officially opened in the year 2000 and has coined the name “Underground Great Wall.” It’s equipped with facilities such as stores, restaurants, clinics, schools, theaters, reading rooms, factories, barbershops, a grain and oil warehouse, and a mushroom cultivation farm. Although it hasn’t been needed for its intended purpose, a group of young people called “The Rat Tribe” have found this complex to be useful. And so would I.
Hopefully, this type of infrastructure will influence the minds of architects and engineers here in the West. With so many subliminal messages being fed to the masses, as well as the current conditions of the planet, preparing for the unknown is imperative. That’s if something underground hasn’t already been built, which I’m sure would remain a secret anyway.
Until Next Time…
Hunt, K. (2015, February 18). Meet the ‘rat tribe’ living in Beijing’s underground city. Retrieved July 30, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2015/02/17/asia/china-beijing-rat-tribe/index.html
Zhiyong, W. (2005, April 15). Beijing’s Underground City. Retrieved July 30, 2018, from http://china.org.cn/english/travel/125961.htm