Bandar Malaysia: What lies beneath is a thriving underground metropolis

PHOTO: The Straits Times

PETALING JAYA - Bandar Malaysia's underground city project can become a major tourism site as it is modelled after Montreal's Underground City which is the largest underground complex in the world.

Named "the Underground City" for its massive 32km network of pedestrian walkways, the city beneath downtown Montreal in Canada intersects with seven Metro stations, two commuter train stations and a regional bus terminal.

The passageways allows approximately half-a-million people daily to reach some 2,000 shops and restaurants, 10 major hotels, museums, theatres and universities.

According to Vue Travel Guide, it is a cornerstone for the tourism industry.

The world famous shopping centres inside the Underground City are The Eaton Centre, Cours Mont-Royal, Complexe Les Ailes, Place Montreal Trust and Place Ville-Marie.

With more than 120 exterior access points, the Underground City provides an escape either during the cold winter months or the hot and humid summer months and has 60 residential and commercial complexes over 3.6sq km of floor space.

Another notable underground complex is the linkage of underground malls beneath Nagoya Station in Japan.

The station is a major terminal where the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train, other privately-owned railroad lines and two-city subway lines converge.

But underneath that lies an underground shopping centre that stretches outward like meshes of a net connecting all the train lines and major buildings in the area.

According to Nagoya Under­ground, Inc, the complex on which construction began in 1957 now boasts a combined store space of 50,000sq m with seven kilometres of underground passageways.

They connect 800 shops ranging from fashion to cafes, bookshops, salons and department stores.