Building Bigger Cities Means Digging Deeper Everywhere Else

Newton’s Third Law of Motion dictates that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In urbanism, this concept is evident in how the unprecedented growth of the built environment causes a reaction in rural landscapes. By 2050, the number of people living in cities will have increased by 2.5 billion, representing two-thirds of the global population. This mass flow of people from rural to urban areas gives rise to an equally dramatic flow of natural resources. As can be seen in studies such as Tom Hegen’s The Quarry Series, whose imagery accompanies this article, the extraction of these minerals represents yet another physical manifestation of rapid, linear urbanism.

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Image: Tom Hegen