The future of underground cities

Energy Travel Guide — Visits London, New York & Toronto

Imagine catching the train to work, you’re walking underneath the busy metropolis of Canary Wharf or Oxford Circus. Instead of the designer department stores and luxury restaurants; think about the changes that might occur if London were to turn it’s abandoned tube stops into trendy shopping centres. With emerging smarter technology, this will present more opportunities for outdoor advertising, as well as offering small businesses a chance to increase their brand awareness and recognition.

Across the world there are a number of underground cities, dating back from the Mayans, to the American Civil War, the World Wars and the Cold War. Underground cities were built most likely because leaders were paranoid their countries would get destroyed. This shows that overtime with advancing technology we’ve been able to adapt to different circumstances in times of desperation: I mean look at Bear Grylls the Island, watching average people survive; whilst only satisfying their basic needs.

Built from the Earth

Nowadays large cities such as Toronto have used the earth to develop an underground city; filled with banks, theatres, a shopping mall, art displays and even Universities. Imagine what the space underneath our capital can deliver; making our morning commute more interesting. In Toronto, underground cities are mostly used during the Winter; because of the dangerous weather condition.

Opportunities in abandoned tube stations

Millions of people commute via the tube in London; therefore the idea of opening retail outlets, pedestrian and cycle paths would probably decrease the road congestion and provide a more unique opportunity for small businesses, as well as the OOH advertising companies.

Think about it; untested venture, you could receive:

Cheaper rent
Lower advertising costs
A niche selection of customers
You could even create your own haunting brand story

In recent times it’s evident that adverts on the tube are well renowned: looking at Protein World’s ‘controversial’ beach body campaign, which Heineken decided to capitalise and illustrate a more lighthearted image, making the billboard more comical. Also Amazon are utilising this space by opening click and collect points; which presents the convenience of these tunnels, which will soon could become an iconic part of the city.

Turning the Subway into a park

Similarly, in New York, Architects have begun to discuss plans to convert an old subway station into an underground park using fibre optic cables to transfer sunlight allowing trees to grow. Imagine the opportunities, tourist attractions, even turning an abandon subway into the underground equivalent to Times Square.

So with emerging technologies and big cities moving underground in the cold winters and abandoned transport tunnels becoming public footpaths to avoid congestion, small businesses and even advertising agencies have the opportunity fight for the space to display interactive advertisements and billboards underneath the surface or open something unique, a new restaurant or cafe attracting busy commuters. Moving underground present an exciting opportunity to create a greener city; easing congestion and possibly adding additional convenience to our lives.