Underground: The next urban frontier

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Parks, Apple stores and even skyscrapers are heading beneath the earth. Is the basement the new penthouse?

It’s hard to sell people on a destination located within the earth’s crust. For decades, cities have tried to entice us below street level with malls, restaurants, museums and tourist walks. But thrilling to the underground seems to go against our very nature. Put as many Forever 21′s as you want down there — subterranean spaces often end up dingy, depressing and feeling like a grave.

But even if we’ll never prefer a basement apartment to a penthouse, or an underground retail district to a walkable street, we might make the space under the sidewalks livable yet. A combination of technological advances and some recent changes in urban dynamics is sending developers onward and downward…more

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