Rabu, 26 Oktober 2011

Welcome to Ice City

Welcome to Ice City: Russia plans to build frozen community 1,000 miles from North Pole... as race for Arctic minerals heats up

Russia is to build an ultra-modern city on a frozen island deep inside the Arctic Circle - in the Kremlin's latest move to back its claim to vast oil and gas reserves under the polar ice cap.
Named Umka, after a popular Soviet polar bear cub cartoon hero, the initial 5,000 residents will live under a vast dome to protect themselves from temperatures sinking below minus 30C in winter.
'This city will be of strategic importance as Russia's northern outpost,' said architect Valery Rzhevskiy who has shown its modernistic designs to an approving Vladimir Putin.
Extraordinary: The city will cost up to £4 billion and be built on the remote island of Kotelniy, in the Novosibirsk archipelago, some 1,000 miles from the North Pole

Vast: The Umka designs are based on the International Space Station but in comparison is much larger - one mile long and 800 yards wide

Sources say it is likely to house soldiers, border guards and secret service officers, as well as scientists and explorers, as Moscow gets serious about claiming Arctic mineral riches.

All will enjoy a luxury lifestyle in the cocoon with its own specially regulated temperate climate - including many facilities to make inhabitants of other cities envious.
'We aim to have scientific laboratories, houses, but also parks with attractions, an Aqua complex, hotels and a cathedral. Naturally there will be schools, kindergartens, recreation zones, a hospital, and sport facilities are planned, too,' said Rzhevskiy.
'We want people who will be living and working here not to realise they are in some closed space with an aggressive Arctic climate outside.'

The extraordinary venture - nicknamed 'wonder city' - will be built at a cost of up to £4 billion on the remote island of Kotelniy, in the Novosibirsk archipelago , some 1,000 miles from the North Pole, closer than any other Russian city.  
Strong winds make it one of the most inhospitable places on the planet, and even in summer it barely climbs over freezing point.
Bleak: Strong winds make the area one of the most inhospitable places on the planet, and even in summer it barely climbs over freezing point
The Umka designs are based on the International Space Station, but it is vast by comparison - just short of one mile long and 800 yards wide.  

'So far it's the only project in the world with an artificial climate and integral life support - just like on the space station. Not only is it a new word in architecture, but in human living too. We have used aero and space technologies while creating it.' Electricity will be supplied by a floating nuclear power station. Food wise, it will be totally self-sufficient with fish and poultry farms, greenhouses, a wheat processing factory and bakeries.
'There will not be any rubbish at all, as the city will have two  factories converting all kinds into ashes.'

It will house workers for local mines and oil platforms which should pay the costs of the development, it is claimed.
'This project is designed to work on any surface, even on the Moon if needed,' said Rzhevskiy, one of Russia's top architects.

The ice city plans - currently with no fixed timetable for opening - comes as all countries with territory touching Arctic waters are gearing up to make competing demands to the United Nations over underwater mineral exploitation rights.
Western countries were stung when in 2007 Russian polar explorer Artur Chilingarov placed his country's flag in the Arctic seabed in 2007.  

'We must prove the north pole is an extension of the Russian land mass,' he said at the time. A Canadian think tank this year even warned that 'an arms race maybe beginning', expressing concerns at the risk of conflict. 
The U.S., Canada, Norway and Russia have all boosted their naval presence in Arctic waters amid warnings of a Cold War that could literally be cold - except perhaps at Umka.


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