Large portions of San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Seattle, Hong Kong and Marseilles were built on top of human made land. What is now Mumbai, India, was transformed by the British from a seven-island archipelago to one contiguous strip … Continue reading →
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety nine percent, invisible, I'm roman Mars May third? Nineteen? Seventy eight shocks Workers in San Francisco were digging a foundation for a new building on Sansom Street right next to it Alice skyscraper in the city, the trains, America Pyramid in the heart of the financial district there about twenty feet below street level when their shovels hit something totally unexpected It was the hull of an old shit, that's reporter Fitzgerald, archaeology, just immediately came in and starts raping away all the dirt in mud and after a few days, they'd uncovered the fool skeleton of a hundred and twenty four gold rush era, vessel called deny it preserved perfectly and the earth beneath the streets of San Francisco as the archaeologists did their work, hundreds of people other to watch the bizarre seed, a massive massive ship being poor
out from beneath the pavement, as the construction hoarding was put up, people were carving holes in it. To look in and see my attic emerge from the mud? That's James Delgado, I'm an archaeologist! Then a historian and the author of gold rush port. The maritime archaeology of San Francisco Delgado. Was twenty years old, then an archaeologist entry, and he was part of the excavation that day in, sighed the ship he found all kinds of artifacts from the gold rush that had been preserved underground bricks, nails tin plates for sheathing boots. Jackets saddles shovels the lot of booze, forty, nine, like to drink Delgado, even pop the cork on a bottle of a hundred and fifty year old, champagne, tasted awful, but the innovation of the gigantic launched his career and marine archaeology and inspired to study the ship's beneath San Francisco, because the attic
isn't the only one down there. I'd say that they're, probably as many as seventy ships that were buried that in some way, shape or form remain, even if it's fragments in nineteen. Ninety four city workers were digging a tunnel for the muni train when they hit the side, of another gold rush of the Roma a decision was made to drill through it later Right through the hall in today- thousands of San Francisco to travel through the ship every morning as they ride the train between fulsome street in the Embarcadero neighbourly mark? in the tunnel. But for those of us who know when you take that turn your passing through the gold rush of Rome to understand how all of these ships ended up buried under ground beneath the city. We need to go back to the eighteen thirties when several Cisco was just a tiny little port called year. Bub Weena, it was an outpost of a few buildings with tiny town square there
yet by eighteen, forty seven, the population had grown to a few hundred. They rename the port say Francisco, but it was still just a small town, but in eighteen, forty, eight. All of that change with the discovery of Golden JANET The gold rush brought a tidal wave of prospectors to California, and by the end of eighteen. Fifty the San Francisco waterfront was clogged with more than a thousand ships in the town. Had grown into a city of thousands, so you're. Looking at a city that within a decade has gone from being a village to being the twelfth largest city in North America, but the land around San Francisco was mostly sandy hills and not well suited to the scale of development. So to meet the surging demand for real estate. The city sold off plots of water in the shallow title zone, a person could by a piece of water, but it was there
job to turn it into usable ground. Some people dumped sand are garbage into their plots to try and make land others drove stakes into the mud and bill platforms on top of the water in a lot of people, repurchase, the ships that have brought them to California, the ship's helped because, as they came, many of them were sitting idle. The crews have gone off to the diggings or had run away so the owners rented the matter sold them outright to become floating houses, warehouses, the time jail offices, you name it over two hundred of became floating build ships were centres of commercial life and San Francisco. Will you had the APOLLO saloon, which was basically arrest. Try they sold donut and a cup of coffee for two bits. They said you the U Female, which was turned into the town jail and later became an insane asylum. You also had ships that served as water cisterns. You had other ships,
Where does government offices and another ship, the good ship, Panama? was used as a Siemens church. The city looked like us Forest of masts and planks connected the ship's, creating the grid of Board walks perched above the water one vision, said. The San Francisco was the Venice built of pine. But there were obvious downsides to a floating city and little by little, people began to fill in areas between the ships using what they could get their hands on from garbage to unwanted cargo to dead bodies. You name it everything was thrown into that and with this gradually begin the process of filling in the mud flats. This way the shoreline itself began to advance at this point Harbour was a patchwork of freshly filled, lots, ships and buildings on stilts, but then, in May of eighteen, fifty one a massive fire
broke out in downtown San Francisco. The wind fan the flames and, by the time the next day had dawned more than two thousand buildings were gone. The flames were so high that they could de the glow in Monterrey hundred miles south some of the ship, caught fire and sank, leaving their half charge poles in the muddy water by the time they manage to put the fire out the waterfront was just a mushy mass of smouldering timber. In that machine mess was too unstable to rebuild on so they use from the world's first steam power excavators to scrape sand of nearby hills and dunes and dumping on Tom by September of eighteen, fifty one, the old waterfront had been completely buried and with it the dynamic, the Rome and all of the other gold rush ships entombed in this manufactured ground.
After the fire. San Francisco continued to expand filling in more and more of the title zone in deeper and deeper water and Eventually the state stepped in. They built a sea wall to cap the production of new land They drew a line and said San Francisco. You can go no further, and today we know that line it's the Embarcadero the walkway along the eastern edge of the San Francisco worth, but by that time a city had built up on top of all this sand and dirt and garbage and over the years San Francisco continue to develop, and today what had? in the title zone. Is the heart of this these financial district through history. The absence of ground has proven to be a surprisingly small obstacle for people who want to build stuff, simple, go isn't the only city that is built its own land, large portions, of Boston, Seattle, home
long and more say were built on top of a hill is not uncommon. To see it and other cities. New York, Manhattan, built out and filled, Mary. The world trade center sits on was landfill actually found a ship when they were building the original World Trade center towers. What is now Mumbai? India used to be a seven island archipelago before the british colonial government turned it all into one. Contiguous strip of land. Tokyo has built sixty thousand acres of new land over the last several centuries. The process a building new land and along the waterfront is often referred to as land reclamation, which is kind of ridiculous, and reclamation is another one of those words. That's made up banned. It masquerades what really happening your creating land where it did exist before or even creating a whole country like the Netherlands, does
I stole. Basically, the dutch making their own country that Stephen Grand professor of cities in society, at Newcastle University and author of the book. Vertical city from satellites to bunkers many most of HOLLAND, most of the Netherlands as us, as is currently cost it is an engineering construction is, is a huge project of, land reclamation, love manufacture. The Dutch develops incredible techniques to build land in places there were actually below sea level, and this has been going on Medieval times by large dykes were constructed. Large pumping systems were concerned, to create a dry country underneath the sea and the Dutch are proud of this. History does Popular saying, they're gone and created the world, but the Dutch created the Netherlands
Humans have been making their own ground for a long time, but the process has reached new heights in recent years. The historic scale of land reclamation along manufacture and the building up of land beneath cities. Absolutely minuscule compared to the scale of which is going on today. More and more cities are building waterfront property for airports, skyscrapers and housing this shared and economics. If you create new, supply in an area where this amazing levels of demand, and therefore its very profitable, you, dredging technologies have enabled developers to build land faster than on a grander scale, often at the expense of the environment. That means these shoes, Ships, for example, which have what they rainbow dredging systems these.
Suck up massive amounts of sand and gravel from the sea floor and shoot it through the air in a giant arguing rainbow a mark on the area where they're trying to build new land. Technology has been particularly useful for creating artificial islands. China is using these rainbow dredging ships to turn an uninhabited coral atolls in the middle of the South China Sea into larger islands that could support human cells. There are actually manufacturing led. The hopes of staking territorial claims to highly contested waters and then there's nobody devise a poster child this process. Really. The wealthy desert emirate has built a series of artificial islands for wealthy feelings. Three of the new and forms are shaped like massive palm France and other projects called the world is a stir violence designed to look like a map of the world from above
but do buys reclamation project has stirred up so much sediment that they buried coral reefs, oyster beds and see grass fields and the Persian Gulf in some of the islands that make up the world are already starting to erode back into the sea to buy is also running out of sand, at least kind of sand. You need to build things. Desert sand is to find for construction and by his used up so much of the sand around its coast that they now have to import it from Australia. Globally. Humans use over forty billion tons of sand a year. The two largest uses of that sand are concrete production, inland manufacturing products and created a global sand shortage that is forcing countries to go to extreme lengths in their efforts to build new ground. The most famous example here, there is Singapore the wealthy island nation is one of the densest countries in the world and its constantly looking
to expand its territory. Those plans to make Singapore twenty or thirty percent bigger of the next forty fifty is through manufacturing new true. Without enough sand of its own, Singapore has had to look elsewhere. Being a lot of evidence that the extent land manufacturing around Singapore. The basis for its growth is a tiny island city is is based on stealing sandy islands. From me, the poor countries like Cambodia and Indonesia and Burma, and then moving a material physically land, itself is flowing from poor poor countries to wealthier once those countries have made some exports elite because of this sense They are losing their own territory.
Lay in manufacturing is unjust, expanding territory outward in some cases its expanded upward on the coast of Nigeria, developers are building a new luxury city called Eco Atlantic on top of manufactured ground, starting thing about Eco Atlantic is its part three or four metres higher than the rest of Lagos and miss being designed to be more resilient. To expect a sea level than the rest of the city This is a very poor, low, lying city, that's extremely vulnerable to sea level rise. So there's a very disturbing almost apartheid geography emerging here. Where relates able to build their own escape routes from increasingly perilous conditions true going higher into manufactured lamb in You're building new land could be a part of the solution to sea level rise, but Stephen Gramps, as these new land projects are often built exclusively for the rich.
Bilbil has as private projects for those who can get in and can afford it not being built as problem projects very often to protect cities as a whole. Massive reclamation projects like Eco Atlantic are the most obvious examples of manufactured land, but even if you live far away from the coast, the ground beneath your feet may have been partially created by humans. People are continuously impacting the surface of the earth. We dig up rock from one place. Grind into summit, and bill decided somewhere else, we blow up skyscrapers, dump the rubble somewhere and build a hospital on top of it. And all of this human activity has actually creed. It is a new layer on the surface of the earth's crust. It's made up of old bricks, ground up cement and rusting metal,
archaeologists and geologists have started calling this layer, the archives, the earth, his fear, isn't totally unnatural. Its fill with soil routes and earthworms. Sometimes grass grows on top of it, and that makes it hard for us to notice. Stephen Gram says that this idea, but human activity has actually created a geologic layer on the surface of the earth is based Archaeologists and geologists together traditionally archaeologists study human artifacts within the ground, while geologists study the ground itself, but But if the ground itself was made by humans Ok, I'll adjusts of increasingly working with geologists and they see the ground is, as a group dual accumulation of the leftovers. Starfishes herbaceous. It's the bodies of the dad
over materials and it is increasingly powerful bill of. I think, that's really important important for one, because we need to understand what the ground is made of if we want to build safely on top of it, in fact, she ground can be unstable and more susceptible to earthquakes and landslides the example in China Insurance and when the construction material, it was heaped up on it. A hillside was part of the great SK expansion of that city. Basically, sir. Thumbs down this a great big slide and nothing is by eighty people killed in those Well so we need much more aware than in creating around geology were also creating. Our own has its, but the archeo sphere is also a resource to be explored. This Bain estimates that this is much copper and not artificial ground as there is, all of the copper mines in the world so in Scandinavia, there she stopped Mine, the disused industrial.
Out of their own industrial settings, When you walk through a city quotas in pavement and covered in buildings, it's easy to assume that the ground beneath you is ancient and natural there is a tendency always just to see the ground, something. That's boy always been there and always will be met, but does it. Huge amount of evidence that cities build their own ground cities are agents for making their own geology. If you look but a brand new land reclamation project like Eco Atlantic. It's obvious the ground is manufactured right now, like a giant sandy construction site, but if all goes according to plan. Pretty soon there will be parking, lots and skyscrapers an apartment, buildings and right now, it's hard to imagine that such a blatant example of artificial ground will one day become. Seed is just an ordinary part of the nigerian landscape, but you
we could have said the same thing about San Francisco, then. Eighteen, fifty Ninety nine percent invisible was produces week by Emmett Fitzgerald Katy mingle answer. If you bus ingredient, Delaney Hawker calls dead terror Massa every problem. In an me, Roman, Mars, special taxes. Archaeologist Matt Edgeworth, whose writing about the argues fear, helped us a lot on this episode Steven Graves New book vertical. Coming out, this fall. If you can find a link to it on our website. We are brother to ninety one point: seven Kalw San Francisco and produced
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.