By 2050, the United Nations predicts that over two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. To many architects, the most appealing response to this this influx is to build vertically. But rather than continuing to colonize the sky by erecting skyscrapers which, as they grow taller, embody ever-louder expressions of bravado, why not consider constructing in the opposite direction? The idea of going underground is gaining favor. In Mexico City, for example, architecture firm BNKR Arquitectura has proposed a 65-story inverted pyramid—the “Earthscraper”; this nod to the city’s Aztec history could house 5, 000 people underneath the Plaza de la Constitución. Singapore and other Asian metropolises have also begun subterranean exploration in response to population booms. Doing so pushes against popular conceptions of the underground as a burial zone or a space occupied by the living only while This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 45 Yoga with Adriene The internet’s best friend is—finally—finding her own flow. Arts & Culture Garden Issue 45 Piet Oudolf The Dutch designer bringing life—and death—to traditional gardens. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Thomas MacDonell The conservationist transforming the Highlands. Arts & Culture Design Issue 45 The New Craftsmen From the Outer Hebrides to central London, Catherine Lock is celebrating the crafts heritage of Great Britain. Arts & Culture Music Issue 45 Gerard & Kelly On dance, domesticity and the giants of modernism. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Hang in There How to make the best of a bad job.