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Questions tagged [infrastructure]

For questions about the basic facilities and structures used by a society, such as roads, bridges, power plants, and airports.

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How many miles/km of tunnels would be required to replace all airports in the world

Assume that we wanted to replace all air travel with underground, high speed tunnels like Hyperloop. How many miles/km of tunnels would be required? For example, according to wikipedia there are 1200 ...
Ed Tate's user avatar
  • 131
-2 votes
2 answers
191 views

What would remain of human constructs after ~3000 years? [duplicate]

In my setting, humanity has largely—if not entirely—gone extinct on Earth. I was curious about what would remain of modern human architecture after around 3 millennia of no upkeep. Primarily urban ...
Mr. Bob's user avatar
  • 19
-5 votes
1 answer
112 views

How much energy would you need to open a portal and maintain it? [closed]

How much energy would you need to open a portal and maintain it? And more importantly, what would the infrastructure look like? For example: Would a single nuclear reactor be enough, or would you need ...
supremechad's user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
2k views

Super broad gauge railway vs double wide/multi track railway

So here's the scenario, a mad scientist has just managed to take over the continent on his campaign for world domination (which continent I will leave to your imagination but for simplicity lets say ...
Tyler Phelps's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
160 views

How would you go about creating a floating bridge across a large body of water? [closed]

So here's the idea: For large bodies of water, it becomes progressively harder and more expensive to build traditional bridges as the distance and depth increases. Would it be possible to create a ...
Danny Ward's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
147 views

Setting Up a Snow Elf Portal Network, Part 1: The Framework

My urban fantasy setting, in which mythical creatures live in secret amongst the human race in the late 90s USA, has a species known as snow elves (my setting's take on Christmas elves) who are ...
Cyrus Drake's user avatar
  • 8,165
6 votes
12 answers
3k views

What is the best design for trans-atmospheric cargo ship?

Backdrop This is set in a world after an empire-state that controlled the entire solar system fell. They have incredibly efficient catalyzed direct fusion drives, which powers the heavy mining and ...
Sam Kitsune's user avatar
  • 1,994
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

What kind of public works/infrastructure projects can recent high school graduates perform in a post-post apocalyptic setting?

My science-fantasy world has been devastated by monster attacks coming from various enormous pits in planet . The first lead to a total collapse of civilization and the next one, some 300 years later, ...
forgotenm's user avatar
  • 1,054
17 votes
7 answers
5k views

Where is the best place to trick a vampire into "crossing open water"?

Vampires in my modern-day urban fantasy setting, to varying degrees, have a weakness to both sunlight and open water. The celestial energies Earth radiates out from its core take on different ...
Cyrus Drake's user avatar
  • 8,165
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

How can a mechanical clock be powered by wind in a reliable, constant way?

Picking up the context This is a follow-up question to the technologically accurate watermill clock, available here. In this case, we're not using water to make clocks, but wind! Wind will be the ...
Tortliena - inactive's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
62 views

Effects of prolonged but stationary glaciation on technological artifacts/buildings

For various magical reasons, a particular area of my world spent roughly 100 years under an average of 10m of ice (3 - 15m of compacted snow). Unlike a conventional glacier, this was stationary. Snow ...
Benjamin T Hall's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
341 views

How can I make a technologically correct horizontal watermill clock?

Context As I was working on some mechanical ideas (and practicing art), I wanted to see how to render time in creative ways. So I decided to make an horizontal watermill akin to a turbine, which has ...
Tortliena - inactive's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
212 views

What might a time travel facility be called? [closed]

In the real world one may catch a train at a station, a flight from an airport, a bus from a depot, a boat from a port or terminal. If one were to travel through time inside a time machine what would ...
goopypanther's user avatar
19 votes
15 answers
5k views

How can we enable a centaur to climb between different floors?

A centaur has a body best described as half-human, half-horse, so for convenience we use a horse as an anatomical reference throughout instead. Suppose we are concerned with a medieval setting, and ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
3 votes
3 answers
204 views

What if natural gas systems go unattended if all humans disappeared at once [closed]

Scenario: The character (myself in this case) wakes up to a world where almost all humans disappeared (about 100 left in the US) in February 2022. A go-kart-like vehicle is used instead of having the ...
CTCL's user avatar
  • 39
5 votes
3 answers
171 views

How much distance could chained ferryboats traverse?

Chained to the real world If you're used to trek on flat lands with rivers here and there, you might have seen these boats as replacement to bridges : A chained ferryboat, by Ludovic G. (resized ...
Tortliena - inactive's user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
3k views

How efficient would pumping water uphill be using hydropower?

How efficient would hydropower be at pumping water upward? Waterwheels are the cornerstone of unmanned power and are basically gravity powered (solar too if you count the water cycle,) which is very ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.7k
4 votes
4 answers
418 views

Restoring or recycling in a post-apocalyptic setting?

I have been wondering what would be more practical in a post apocalyptic setting, trying to restore the ruins of old (like refurbishing what can be restored and rebuilding over what cannot be and ...
JuimyTheHyena's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
227 views

What type of infrastructure would be needed for an upside down city in a cave with a giant freshwater lake need if the the trade is a school/college?

Details In my story I have the thief school/college which built a city, or if you asked others was built because of the city (It was so long ago nobody knows.), underneath the capital of Mafalia by ...
Idan's user avatar
  • 673
21 votes
8 answers
4k views

Surface is 500F (260 C), but we have thorium reactors, diggers and heat pumps so human life continues underground. Possible? Or slow-roast?

I'm working on the story of someone born in the tunnels after the earth has gone though a runaway greenhouse effect. I want these tunnels to be real, with real infrastructure to keep the inhabitants ...
Josiah's user avatar
  • 344
-3 votes
1 answer
127 views

Why dummy skyscrapers used to trap large monsters are being demolished one by one? [closed]

Occasionally a large monster as tall as Empire State Building would emerge from the sea and goes into a rampage as it moves inland, we know this city lies in the middle of their migratory path and ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
3 votes
6 answers
419 views

How can an inter-dimensional rift between worlds prevent passengers from crossing back over?

The book of Genesis tells of how God created the earth in six days, as well as the first humans. He created Adam and Eve in his image as pure and uncorrupted beings. However, Lucifer seduced and slept ...
Incognito's user avatar
  • 38.5k
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Which space bodies have helium-3 besides the moon? [closed]

There is a certain attention given to the moon in order to use its helium-3 to supply nuclear fusion on earth. But there is some problems involving energy there that concerns me. A day on the moon is ...
Fulano's user avatar
  • 293
3 votes
6 answers
878 views

How to cross a gorge with deep valley plagued by corrosive effluvium in medieval times?

There is a beautiful deep canyon called "Gorge Yor Ei Ou" by the local, it has a deep cleft filled with deadly and corrosive effluvium that doesn't seems to go away. The shortest distance ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
5 votes
6 answers
1k views

Logistics of a steam-powered subway system

I'm building a steampunk city, and I wanted to include an underground subway system, where things like goods and people might be transported to different parts of the city. But the logistics of ...
D. Daniels's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
300 views

How much trouble would a great depression era rural county have with settling a late cretaceous Montana/Wyoming?

I have a very specific setting in mind that can be pretty much summed up as "Wild West with Dinosaurs". However, I'm still trying to figure out the details of just how the people native to a ...
Ethan Philpot's user avatar
9 votes
15 answers
7k views

How can a barren island state comprised of morons maintain positive GDP for decades?

Moronland, an island as big as New York, population at least 2 million had little natural resources no fresh water and no oil. The locals worship Koalemos and they have a very strict law which states ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
5 votes
5 answers
1k views

If I knock down this building, how many other buildings do I knock down as well? [closed]

Buildings are 32,000 feet tall and a quarter of a mile wide and long. They are made of concrete, glass, other standard building equipment, and some hand-wavy metal that makes up the main support ...
Ceramicmrno0b's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

I need a systematic way to consider all crucial factors when building different kinds of near-future cities

I'm crafting the worlds and cultures of my own Alien societies and a near-future human world (near-future Earth), it's the first time I've attempted this in detail. Everything I've found so far about ...
Rebecca Glaessner's user avatar
2 votes
11 answers
2k views

How can one plan structures and fortifications in advance to help regaining control over their city walls?

In my fantasy world, I have a really, really big city where trade and people flows are done through magic gateways. Partly as to not let whole districts suffocate in poverty (among other bad things), ...
Tortliena - inactive's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
351 views

How much more effective at digging would an efficient late preindustrial power be compared to basic human labour?

Following on from my earlier question here: Can a water transport canal be excavated by water power? I have abandoned the self channeling as too difficult. So manual digging will be required. I need ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 37.9k
2 votes
4 answers
215 views

What would a world look like if everything was a billion times more massive? [closed]

All atoms are still the same size/mass - it's just that the Earth, people, grass, bugs, etc - everything is more massive by a billion times. So since the Earth would be a billion times more massive, ...
Jett's user avatar
  • 335
2 votes
1 answer
198 views

How would ground pressure effect cyborgs of varying weight?

In the world I'm working on human civilization is mostly dead and the planet is gripped in nuclear winter. Most of the people who've survived are cyborgs. While these cyborgs are still humanoid they ...
Cubedspartan's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
285 views

What tornadic wind speed would be required to destroy a reinforced masonry structure?

Tornadoes are well-known to be one of the most destructive forces on the planet, packing the capacity to practically delete small towns from the map and lay waste to billions of dollars worth of ...
Shalvenay's user avatar
  • 11.3k
1 vote
4 answers
660 views

How would an efficient University look like in the future?

The setting: About 150 years from now. Brain Computer Interface (BCI) has completely changed society. Seamless integration with computers and AI makes enhanced people capable of complex, parallel ...
Duncan Drake's user avatar
  • 3,989
1 vote
1 answer
178 views

The experience of owning and driving a nuclear fusion powered vehicle

I am using the BattleTech universe for my stories, which has nuclear fusion powered cars. My assumption is that they work similarly to an EV, but with an onboard power plant. So, they'd still be run ...
Jazzyamx's user avatar
  • 969
12 votes
7 answers
578 views

Is there an immersive justification for littered resource crates in game worlds?

It is common to find resource/loot crates in games that be opened/broken by the player to find money, ammo, resources, and similar. For instance, Warframe contains both loot crates that drop resources ...
Drew's user avatar
  • 998
1 vote
0 answers
8k views

How/why did the layout of a medieval village change over time? [closed]

Within the medieval era, I'm interested in knowing what sort of rules or reasons caused the layout to change from sparse rural villages with a few houses (lots of farmland) to dense sprawling city ...
Shasaur's user avatar
  • 19
1 vote
1 answer
154 views

Ant colony in Zero Gravity [closed]

The image below is an Ant colony in the glass chamber. If the Ants in Chamber filled with soil can generate such structure of colonies. What would happen if the Ants are kept in the same chamber but ...
tusharkhade's user avatar
12 votes
14 answers
2k views

Alternatives to batteries for "residential" power?

So... I have a family that lives in a remote mountain chalet. They need utilities. I think I'm set for gas (propane), water, septic and communication, but I have a question regarding electricity. Now, ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes
3 answers
332 views

How could an underground city hide its existence for potentially thousands of years?

After the fall of the lizard empire, most of the lizard people fled to Node to avoid genocide (This is in the Lovecraft universe, racism is mandatory). In short order, this former bomb shelter became ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
192 views

Nipping urban sprawl in the bud

'The culture of good place-making, like the culture of farming, or agriculture, is a body of knowledge and acquired skills. It is not bred in the bone, and if it is not transmitted from one generation ...
subdermatoglyphic's user avatar
25 votes
27 answers
9k views

How can I prevent the invention of skyscrapers?

Introduction I want my story, set in the modern day, to have a unique architectural feel. Part of my strategy - no skyscrapers. Wikipedia: The term skyscraper was first applied to buildings of ...
subdermatoglyphic's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
126 views

Would there be any way to keep ice from melting underwater?

I've been thinking of having an underwater structure in a world with ice, but I would think water from currents would melt the ice. Would there be any way to keep it frozen and have an underwater ...
WolvesEyes's user avatar
21 votes
5 answers
7k views

Could earthquake cancellation work?

Imagine we could scale up noise cancellation technology in earphones and apply it to earthquake prone zone, what challenges beside engineering and cost would make such a machine impossible to realise?...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
-3 votes
2 answers
288 views

What would happen if I reversed the gravity of various manmade structures? [closed]

Skyscrapers appear to be pretty securely attached to the ground. So do bridges, houses, and more. But are they really attached to the ground? What would happen to the structure if I was to reverse ...
virchau13's user avatar
  • 253
1 vote
4 answers
215 views

What kind of transport infrastructure would there be in a new planetary colony?

Say humanity have the luxury to start anew. Colonizing a planet where speed of colonization is not an issue. Let's assume planet conditions and gravity pull similar to Earth. Technology relatively ...
Sunyatasattva's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
228 views

How to design a ship class around single nuclear reactor and single shipyard?

Situation: modern tech equivalent sparsely populated planet very limited amount of fossil fuels, but sufficient amount of nuclear (plus willingness to use it) Consequences: designing single nuclear ...
Shadow1024's user avatar
  • 10.1k
4 votes
4 answers
307 views

Neglect-proofing America's infrastructure, part 1: Power grid

One of the main premises of my story is that two or three times a year, everyone on modern day Earth over the age of 13 has a magical rule or change to the laws of physics, hereafter referred to as a "...
Simon Price's user avatar
  • 5,161
8 votes
3 answers
331 views

Consequences of all adults turning into ghosts for a week, part 1: Power grid

One of the major sources of conflict in my story is that, in my story's modern-day world, two to three times a year, a week-long supernatural effect is globally applied to everyone on Earth over the ...
Simon Price's user avatar
  • 5,161