If you like to think of our future you might have dreamt of a glistening metropolis featuring insane architecture and advanced technology. The stuff of sci-fi movies, but some of this stuff is already happening in long-term construction projects across the globe, are already seeking to turn a desert country green. Transport passengers by rail over 500 kilometers per hour, create entire cities from scratch supply energy through nuclear fusion, or relocate some of us to space. so, what are these big projects and where are they being built. Continue to read us, a world of megaprojects.
Dubai, is the modern-day king of the mega construction project, from man-made islands to the towering Burj Khalifa. Dubailand a 64 billion project with an almost ludicrous scale of 278 square kilometers takes things even further scheduled for completion in 2025. The vast plan has changed several times over the years but will contain the world's largest hotel at 6500 rooms a theme park. A sports center a huge shopping mall health facilities and sports venues all in the heart of the desert the project has been underway since 2003 and had to be paused for five years in 2008. due to the global recession, but some parts are now open these include the global village which celebrates 90 different cultures a 25000 seat cricket stadium, Ernie ells designed golf course, and an artificial desert beach and water resort.
Japan, High-speed trains are big business in East Asia and japan's Chua shinkansen which will use a magnetic levitation or maglev style train is said to enable a journey of 286 kilometers in just 40 minutes. An astonishing bit of high-speed infrastructure. The largely underground route will travel from Tokyo to Nagoya in its first phase and later onward to Osaka. The Tokyo Nagoya stretch of the line is due to open in 2027 and we will see trains travel at up to 505 kilometers per hour, cutting the existing journey time between the two cities already by a maglev train by a full 50, the 52 billion plan began back in the 90s, and will no doubt be quite the experience bringing travelers to a speed of over 40 percent of the land speed record as part of a regular ticketed journey.
Lusail City in 'Qatar' is a planned concept city with lofty goals as the first city in Qatar. where foreigners are allowed to purchase real estate it's been in heavy demand, with a strong focus on advanced infrastructure and luxurious living in a space that's growing fast. it's set to include four high-end island living areas with an ultimate target population of around 450,000.00, 16 kilometers from the capital 'Doha'.
The city is part of Doha's plan to diversify from a reliance on oil income, and account for a growing international population, it was only conceived in 2005 but already features distinctive tower blocks luxury spa locations a marina, a Venetian themed island, and 80,000 seater stadium that's one of the planned venues for 2022 Fifa world cup, there's also a whole lot of ongoing construction work.
South-North Water Transfer Project
China, It's not overly well documented in the west but, china has a severe problem with water distribution, in fact, while the north has roughly 50% of the population, it only has 20% of the country's water resources. China's plan to deal with these three super-sized canals. This 48-year construction plan has already cost 79 billion dollars, making it amongst the most expensive construction projects in human history.
First discussed as far back as 1952 ultimately it will channel 44.8 billion cubic meters of water from the Yangtze River and its tributaries through one of three canals each traveling more than 600 miles this has impacts in areas as diverse as the location of an industry which must be kept away from the canals to requiring the resettlement of 3,30,000 people to engineering pump to move the water, as intended down each route. The whole thing is massive in scale and perhaps unsurprisingly, environmentally controversial.
The New Silk Road
In China, the Silk Road was once Eurasia's commercial pipeline. A critical trading pathway linking cultures through trade two full millennia ago. China believes the modern-day version can be just as critical to well trade, the policy around this is called belt, and road, and considered so important it was added to the communist party constitutions in 2017.
It's all about large-scale strategic infrastructure investment spending on the different aspects of the project is expected to hit 1.3 trillion dollars by 2027 with new developments taking in power plants and roads Pakistan rail developments in Indonesia, and ultimately around 1,600 controversial core power plants with 60 countries in total involved opposition comes from lots of neighbors including India, and South Korea, in part because china's investment has been seen in some corners as an attempt to assert political influence globally, but also because of the environmental consequences. The world bank, however, agrees that the broad infrastructure spending project which will focus on modernizing several corridors has the potential to stimulate, the global economy, but also has concerns about its viability in the long term.
The ITER is an ambitious multinational energy project. 35 different countries are collaborating in 'the South of France' to build a Tokamak a device designed to prove the feasibility of large-scale nuclear fusion as an energy source, why it's carbon-free, and should it succeed has the potential to create an essentially damage-free energy resource that could be repeated across the globe. The 35-year project is designed to show sustained fusion as a viable energy source.
The Tokamak itself is an experimental machine designed to harness the energy created through fusion inside a Tokamak the energy is absorbed as heat in the walls of the vessel which in turn can be converted into power the potential outcome environmentally sound high volume energy is what's driving contributors that include China the European union India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States, to pay in and create, what will be the biggest and most promising Tokamak to date with experiments due to begin in December 2025.
Guangzhou Football Stadium
China, Chinese Soccer has been developing fast in recent years, and now plays something of a similar role to the MLS, in years gone by it's widely seen as a highly paid retirement home for the sport's elite Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Football Club, will soon have a stadium the Envy of the Sports World.
The 1.7 billion dollar stadium began construction in April of 2020 and is based on a Lotus Crown. A reference to the city's reputation for flowers as well as the pitch itself it will contain a shopping center and entertainment assets, but at one hundred thousand incapacities. It'll also be one of the biggest stadiums in the world. The massive hyper-modern building will light up in technicolor to bring the place to life. Focusing on the red of the home team, the whole thing is due to be finished in December 2022.
Great Man-Made River Project
Libya, situated in an Arid area of North Africa. Has been working on its 'Great Man-Made River Project' to irrigate large parts of the country's land since 1985, and is expected to be working on the same project right through to 2030. The GMR is intended to supply clean water to a large chunk of the country and stimulate its agricultural business.
In fact, it's so significant that it was once touted as turning the desert country as green as a flag. which the time of the comment was just all green, in simple terms, the project is a collection of pumps and underground pipes that bring water from aquatic planes deep under the ground of the Sahara desert, tricky but far preferable to desalination of the Mediterranean which was the main alternative progress, has already been delayed by nato bombings after claims in 2011 that a building making pipes was a storage facility for weapons.
Al Maktoum International Airport
In Dubai, Al-Maktoum international airport is already a major transport hub. But the traffic-heavy spot is in the process of growing to a massive 21 square miles, designed to simultaneously accommodate 200 wide-bodied aircraft. the 32 billion dollar expansion to the already super-sized hub, will allow 220 million people a year to pass through the work has begun in part because Al-Maktoum has more potential to expand than the main Dubai international airport, and while it'll take some time. the various phases stretch this construction right into 2050. The six new train tracks new runways new terminal biometric systems seven train stations, and 55 border control checkpoints are set to make Al- Maktoum an international standout.
International Space Station
A constant work in progress. the 15 country collaboration that is the international space station circles the earth every 92 minutes. While construction costs are inflated hugely by the little matter of being in orbit. The ISS currently has 60 million dollars worth of additions under construction including additional living facilities improved solar arrays and additions to the axiom station which may ultimately become a commercial low altitude Orbit Platform. while the space station, is currently about the size of two football fields, there are multiple plans to expand on human's permanent presence in space involving projects from California, China, India, and Russia. The really long-term ambitions may even see thousands or even as many as one million people ultimately move into Orbit.
So, do you think humanity is ambitious enough in its major long-term projects.
Finally, Megaprojects in the past, such as the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or the Great Wall of China, were lasting testaments to human achievement merely because of the enormous sums of human labor involved. Today, though, the project's size, cost, and relevance are significantly more important.
As I travel across the world, I'm struck by how many construction projects are underway in every big city. If we only look at the front pages of newspapers, it appears that megaprojects are mostly taking place in China and Dubai, yet there are hundreds more that have received far less notice.
Over the coming decades, we will begin the transition to megacity cultures, lifestyles, and economies. Megacities themselves will become more important than the countries they reside in. With megaproject spending reaching unprecedented levels, any failures will have far-reaching implications.