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  • Have you given any thought to what's going to happen to you after you die?

  • Not in these spiritual, metaphysical, meet-your-maker sense.

  • I'm talking about the final resting place of your physical remains, because we've got a grave issue on our hands.

  • As the world's population increases and becomes increasingly urban, the cities of the world are running out of room to bury their dead.

  • One space saving solution that's gaining ground, vertical cemeteries.

  • Before we bury you with more details, take a second and hit "Subscribe".

  • This is Cavalry Cemetery in Queens.

  • Talk about a tomb with a view.

  • There are 3 million people buried here on over 365 acres, making it the largest cemetery in the United States. And, it's fully developed.

  • It was built in the 1800s to alleviate New York City's body problem.

  • The city was growing so fast that church yards had no room to expand.

  • Bodies would get hastily piled into shallow mass graves, causing unimaginable stench and officials worried it could contribute to disease outbreaks.

  • The solution was to create massive cemeteries on nearby rural land close enough that people could come visit their loved ones, but far enough away from the city that there would be plenty of room.

  • Spoiler alert; cities kept growing, people kept dying, and now in cities around the world, cemeteries are out of room.

  • By 2050, 68 percent of the world's population will live in urban areas, and 100 percent of people will die one day.

  • Most people want their loved ones to be interred relatively close to home, but as we've established, there's less and less room for that.

  • In 2013, a Danish architecture student in Norway proposed a design for a skyscraper cemetery.

  • Imagine, an airy white framework rising in center city, Copenhagen.

  • A crane is a permanent part of the structure. It lifts coffins into place.

  • Year by year, the tower grows taller as more plots are added on top. Eventually, it's the tallest building in the city.

  • Martin McSherry's design didn't win the competition, but it did get a special mention by the judges, and generated a lot of controversy and conversation in the press, but it's not exactly a new idea.

  • The Great Pyramid of Giza is a tomb and was the tallest structure in the world for 3800 years but, the Great Pyramid was a tomb for a king.

  • What about vertical burial sites for the common masses?

  • London almost got one.

  • In the 1800s, it was the largest city in the world. Its parish cemeteries were running out of room.

  • City officials turned to architects for solutions.

  • Thomas Wilson went really big. He proposed a 94-story pyramid with an 18 acre base and room for five million bodies.

  • Wilson had it all worked out. The pyramid would have hydraulic lifts and sloping ramps inside, while on the outside, flights of stairs would lead to an obelisk on top.

  • The pyramid, Wilson wrote, "Will rise and majesty over lofty towers, teaching the living to die and the dying to live forever."

  • Wilson got some positive feedback, but people found the idea unsettling.

  • John Claudius Loudon, a forefather of the field of landscape architecture told Wilson,

  • "I hate the idea of interment in a vault, or in any way which prevents the body from speedily returning to it's primitive elements."

  • Another paper panned the pyramid, "This monstrous piece of folly, the object of which is to have generations rotting in one vast pyramid of death,

  • instead of being quietly mingled with their parent earth and forgotten, is perhaps the most ridiculous of the schemes broached in our scheming age."

  • Instead of Wilson's pyramid, London ultimately built a large garden cemetery similar to one that had just been built in Paris.

  • This caught on stateside too as the rural cemetery movement.

  • The problem is, what used to be out in the middle of nowhere is now ringed by the city, and these old cemeteries have no space to grow, which brings us back to the vertical solution.

  • The tallest cemetery in the world is this one in Santos Brazil.

  • It didn't originate as a skyscraper, but demand for above ground tombs with a view was steady enough that the owner just kept adding new levels.

  • And even taller skyscraper cemetery has been proposed for Mumbai.

  • The Moksha Tower would accommodate funeral rites from the world's major religions, with space for garden burials, cremations, river burials,

  • and even a tower of silence, where bodies are broken down by exposure to the elements and scavenging birds in the tradition of Parsis Zoroastrianism.

  • While burial isn't the only interment option, cremation is the other big one.

  • Cremated remains take up space too.

  • In Hong Kong, families face waiting periods of up to five years for space in a columbarium.

  • That's the building where funeral urns are stored usually in a niche in the wall, and you can come and pay your respects. Those are getting taller too.

  • The True Dragon Tower in Taiwan is the world's biggest columbarium at 20 stories high.

  • Imagine a tower of the dead, looming over your downtown. Creepy? Or a good reminder that life is fleeting?

  • The thing is, whether you end up in a box or an urn, your loved ones are going to want to come to visit you.

  • In some religions, it's considered their sacred duty to keep coming to visit you.

  • So while skyscraper cemeteries might seem morbid, they do answer the very human need for a place to gather and remember our dead.

  • Hit the comments to make your case for or against vertical symmetries, or to let us know how you want your remains to be treated when you shuffle off this mortal coil.

  • Don't forget to hit the bell icon so you get notified next time we put on another video, and as always, thanks for watching. See you next time.

Have you given any thought to what's going to happen to you after you die?

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Why Skyscraper Cemeteries Are On The Rise - Cheddar Explains

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/03/17
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