Urbania | Beneath City Streets

Urbania | Beneath City Streets

From time to time, our work has taken us to and within the deep and dark voids that lie beneath city streets. There, worlds created by people have been lost, but very much exist and require human intervention to explore, examine, and sometimes repair.

In many cases, these bowels of our cities and industrial centers are part of human vitality, bringing us critical utilities and resources, and taking away our waste.

Other times, abandoned space and infrastructure presents unique problems for urban planning and development – and unique opportunities at the very same time.

Ocean Opportunity Inc. has a unique interest in urban exploration, particularly as many of the necessary technologies and techniques to intervene within these spaces are the very platforms that will take us to new ocean depths, and other worlds that we have yet to discover.

Donate Today!

Help OO promote and create new value in ‘space’, from urbania to oceania, and beyond.

Donate Today!

Read More about Urban Exploration

Making waves, in Compost!

Yesterday, our local news featured a piece about Stop & Shop’s regional compost facility in Assonet, MA. This is such an amazing facility, and hopefully becomes a model of efficiency for other large companies: http://turnto10.com/news/local/stop-shop-facility-turns-food-into-energy Some might ask how in the world this seems to excite me? Well, environmental advocacy aside, I’ve been up close and personal with this place – being one of three to dive in! I’ve done some cool projects, but this one stood out, at least within the last few years…not only was it cool, but it was hot at the same time… A stand pipe located in the digestion tank had been compromised at a joint adjacent to where the pipe penetrated the tank walls through a flange. As much...
Read More

diving in the background

This week was one of those weeks – a marathon stretch of hard mud diving every day which equated to just shy of 30 hours underwater within a 5 day stretch, with one day including a 7 hour dive. I’ve had lots of weeks like this, for better or worse, and they always manage to bring forward some of the harsh realities of the trade, while leaving the glamour of diving hidden in the background. So, what the heck was I doing for 30 hours down there? Well, I was being part underwater engineer, part underwater carpenter, and part underwater trash man. We were tasked with installing several thousands of pounds of foam flotation to a new concrete floating dock to make it more level...
Read More

recollections from the bottom up

When the phone rings, it could be just about anything… I’ve answered calls that have resulted in gearing up and on a flight to Central America within 2 days, headed offshore on a rickety fishing boat within 2 hours, and asked to review a major construction project that is 2 years out. You never know what might come up next. The important thing is being ready to jump – always remaining in a state of readiness to say ‘yes’. The first time you say ‘no’, your name goes to the bottom of the pile and it could be quite some time before the phone rings again. So, that makes things interesting. While those of us living the life aquatic are always sculpting, crafting, and maneuvering...
Read More

the smells and the sounds of a day welding in the mud

As hard as the days can be, the entire experience of a days worth of diving in the mud is nothing short of value packed. And after a hard days work, the level of appreciation for having the opportunity is always elevated. This past week’s activities: wet welding. I’ve written about underwater welding a few times, but figure its worth elaborating upon a bit given that it’s fresh, and as I sit here to write I am still suffering in the aftermath. I’ll start by saying that welding is not my strong suit, but it is one of the things I enjoy the most about commercial diving. There are so many subtleties to the process in that it requires a very slow hand, patience, focus,...
Read More

Overpopulation Nation? We need a Sea Station!

Call it one of those quirky fateful twists – as I started up my truck this morning, the local radio was airing an interview with Frank Carini from EcoRI News (my favorite environmental watchdog) which was tackling the controversial subject of overpopulation. I haven’t written about this in some time, so figured that in the spirit of those fearful of what forthcoming environmental policy might look like, this would be as good a time as any to dive deep into the subject. At the surface, at face value, overpopulation is very real. Those of us who have been around for a quarter to a half a century have felt the pressure everyday – just think about something as simple as traffic. It is very obvious...
Read More

Norway’s floating underwater traffic tunnels

Submerged megastructures are exactly what humanity needs to drive our aquatic evolution, and it’s great that some folks are thinking, and planning, that way. Recent news from Norway has revealed ambitious plans for submerged tunnels that allow traffic to cross its fjords, without an obtrusive bridge hopping from land. Now, it goes without saying that such a submerged structure is incredibly complicated to design, let alone install. On the design front, the structure itself must tolerate the stress that comes with pressure at depth, and must combat the aquatic elements – tidal surge, waves, currents, cold temperatures, and biofouling An ambitious new plan in Norway would install a series of “submerged floating bridges” to help travelers easily cross the nation’s many fjords. At present, the...
Read More

Christmas Trees and the Environmentalists Dilemma

Tis the season – we highly complex hominids decide it’s a good idea to put a pine tree in our homes despite warnings of fire hazards, sap all over the furniture, and pine needles throughout the house until springtime… So, what’s this absurdity all about? Well, there are stories that take us back over a thousand years, but according a very little bit of web research, it seems the first trees made it inside the house in the16th century by German preacher Martin Luther. According to the story, one night before Christmas, he was walking through the forest and looked up to see the stars shining through the tree branches. He went home and told his children that it reminded him of Jesus, who left...
Read More

bah humbug to our failed state

‘Tis the season and that time of year, where the consumerism that now resides deeply embedded within our American heritage is at the forefront and is cause for nothing short of hysteria and pandemonium on the streets. Sounds like a bad movie but it’s actually just the Christmas shopping season. Bah humbug I say to that! I am all for Christmas cheer, and the camaraderie that comes with holiday festivities. And naturally, especially having kids, its important to advocate good will. But, every year, the little grinch within makes me just a little more nauseated by the consumer chaos…it just isn’t supposed to be like this. This post was inspired by a recent visit to the mall, which is among my least favorite places on...
Read More