FEATURE REPORT/ ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Authored by Samira Goetschel
Russia’s Secret City 40 Is A Prison Of Nuclear Waste And Death. If that doesnt grab your attention, read on. At the perimeter of the city, a sign warns people not to enter the town of Ozersk, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, which houses the Mayak nuclear facility. Mayak is a nuclear complex that has been responsible for at least two of the country’s biggest radioactive accidents. This is Russia, a country with approximately 8,000 nuclear warheads, and arguably a larger nuclear arsenal than the rest of the world combined. Russian nuclear closed cities, collectively known as Z.A.T.O., built after the Second World War to create the Soviet Union’s nuclear-weapon program. To keep their locations secret from the enemy, the closed cities were vanished from the maps for decades to come and their names were often changed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, most of the secret cities were shut down. Among those still in existence is City 40.
Ozersk, codenamed City 40, was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme. Now it is one of the most contaminated places on the planet – so why do so many residents still view it as a fenced-in paradise?
Read the whole piece here.
Published by The Guardian
ONLINE PUBLICATION OF THE WEEK
‘Designing Post-Disaster housing for Urban Areas’
Published by NYC Planning
In 2008, NYC Emergency Management, in partnership with the Department of Design and Construction, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Architecture for Humanity, held a competition — the What If New York City… Design Competition for Post-Disaster Provisional Housing — challenging participants to propose innovative designs for temporary urban housing for use after a disaste
Read the publication here.
VIDEO / PODCAST OF THE WEEK
‘City 40′ Interview – Life in a Closed, Radioactive City’
Created by Zac Fanni
Tucked away in Russia’s vast landscape is a seemingly average Soviet-era city. But City 40 is decidedly not average. Surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards, the men, women and children who live here are prisoners labouring under the delusion that they’re the nuclear shield and saviours of the world. In this chilling film, we witness a world drawn straight from the pages of science fiction—except that it’s real. The populace grows sicker by the day as they live in one of the most contaminated places on earth, home to Russia’s largest stockpile of nuclear materials. In a daring move to expose the truth, the film crew is smuggled behind the walls to uncover the stories of a brave single mother and other courageous residents who risk their lives to warn us of the human and environmental catastrophe that threatens the region. Watch the interview below.