In my upcoming book, nuclear war broke out and the survivors were forced to live underground indefinitely.

How would a subterranean city operate, especially in regards to accommodation, movement and architecture?

Will the ceiling be high enough for planes to fly? Will satellites work? Will automobiles work? I'm concerned about how the layout/map of the city will be like without giving its inhabitant the sense of claustrophobia. Cheers!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Have you read metro 2033? It's set in a similar world, but people moved underground into railway stations in Mosco. $\endgroup$ Oct 23, 2016 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ no but i'll check it out. thanks a ton $\endgroup$ Oct 23, 2016 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ caves of steel - asimov $\endgroup$
    – Ewan
    Oct 23, 2016 at 15:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You are new here! Welcome. This question/these questions are very broad--it's asking "I have an underground city. What will it be like?" too broad There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs. $\endgroup$ Oct 23, 2016 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ You have to solve the food situation. There are various flora and fauna that live underground, but not in sufficient numbers to keep a significant number of people alive. $\endgroup$
    – EvilSnack
    Oct 23, 2016 at 17:41

2 Answers 2


To state the obvious, your underground city will be a (natural or artificial) cave, or perhaps a complex of connected caves. It is improbable that the cave would be large enough for a plane. It may be large enough to require cars.

  • It appears unlikely that cars with combustion engines would be allowed in. They use irreplaceable fuel and produce noxious exhausts. But some bunkers are big enough for real cars.
  • You may have electric cars, either powered by batteries or with contact power. The cars could run on rails, like subway cars, or they could be something like a golf caddy. Here is a picture of an electric train in the Maginot Line forts, here rails in a former Soviet bunker.

It would most likely be a series of rooms connected by tunnels. More a REALLY big bunker then a city with buildings.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .