Global Undergrounds - Exploring Cities Within

Author(s): Paul Dobraczyk

Reaktion Books | No Category

As the world rapidly urbanizes, its cities sink themselves into the ground in sprawling tendons of tunnels - conduits for transport, utility, communication, shelter and storage. The excavation of these spaces, at ever-increasing depths and speed, has changed our lives in ways that we tend to take for granted. For the first time, this book charts the global reach of urban underground spaces, bringing together a collection of 80 stories of subterranean sites around the world. The book draws out the extraordinary range of meanings suggested by urban underground spaces, whether their power as places of hope, fear, memory, labour and resistance, or their capacity to evoke both long histories and futures in the making. Illustrated with often breathtaking photographs, Global Undergrounds creates a new sense of the richness and global diversity of urban underground spaces. Its breadth and depth will appeal to all those who are engaged with these spaces: from urban planners, geographers, architects and engineers to urban explorers, photographers and anyone who encounters underground spaces in their cities.Indeed we inhabit a world where the material stuff beneath our feet is constantly in flux, where layer upon layer of things, people and substances circulate, dream and dwell.


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“Well worth dipping into for its worldwide take on the sheer variety of ways we humans have spun our subterranean webs. . . . These underground stories remind us that buried spaces are places of protection as well as of the fearfully unknown, of hope and of political resistance, of science as well as persistent chthonic mythology. There’s always a quirky and sometimes a grisly journey to be had beneath our streets.”

- London Evening Standard 

"Treats the subject properly and carefully the editors acknowledge that this is a world not often seen, one hidden to nearly all, yet one which holds a fascination for anyone who wonders what lies beneath their feet. It is done extremely well, specially as the layout is appealing, being enriched with color photographs of sometimes obscure underground places it is a book to dip into that becomes difficult not to dip into the next section of engaging text. . . . Cavers, mine historians, and urban explorers will all enjoy this read. . . . A substantial and attractive book book with diversity as its major strength." 

- Descent Magazine   (JC BookGrocer)

Paul Dobraszczyk is a writer and researcher based in Manchester. He is the author of Iron, Ornament and Architecture in Victorian Britain (2014) and Into the Belly of the Beast: Exploring London's Victorian Sewers (2009). Carlos Lopez Galviz is a lecturer and research fellow at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. He is the co-editor of Going Underground: New Perspectives (2013). Bradley L. Garrett is a social geographer at the University of Southampton. His books include Explore Everything: Place-hacking the City (2013) and Subterranean London: Cracking the Capital (2014).

General Fields

  • : 9781780235769
  • : Reaktion Books, Limited
  • : Reaktion Books, Limited
  • : May 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paul Dobraczyk
  • : Paperback
  • : 320