Photographer Explores Sewers Beneath Major Cities

For many, the infrastructure beneath cities remain out of sight and out of mind. Photographer Steve Duncan has exposed the world to the hidden systems beneath cities by exploring, photographing and researching the history of the urban underground. In his talk at TedxPhoenixville, he speaks about his experiences discovering these hidden places. Take a look:

What began as trespassing for thrill quickly became a creative journey when he discovered the largely unseen underground of New York City. Particularly, the people who live beneath the city in train tunnels. This sparked his passion for new perspectives of the city. He continued photographing the world beneath New York City as well as the views from the tops of bridges.

steve duncan sewers underground infrastructure cities

New York City sewers beneath Williamsburg in Brooklyn

After venturing to the worlds beneath other major cities, he discovered the history of the construction of each city through the underground infrastructure. He found that the rivers and streams of the past were put underground. These systems still shape each city, and yet are typically unknown to the people living above them. Steven Duncan suggests that by learning about the way cities have been built in the past, and the way these systems function today, we can begin to construct the cities of the future.

“If we pay attention to how this all works and we can appreciate he infrastructure that has made our cities what they are today, I think it empowers us to know that we can continue to pay attention to how it all really works and we can continue to shape our cities in the future into whatever we want them to be.”

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