Burial Death + Art / Architecture Eco-Death

Skyscraper Burial in Mumbai

Vertical Cemetery is a Greenery Clad Final Resting Place for Mumbai
Yuka Yoneda, (September 28, 2010)

We’ve posted before about vertical burial — that is, placing corpses in upright containers for burial in the ground standing up. The proposed Moksha Tower in Mumbai takes this concept to a whole new level by providing burial space in a skyscraper, giving “burial” and memorial options in a physical space while conserving precious horizontal green space that might otherwise be used for parks — or housing for the living.

While this design is clearly not in any spiritual tradition, the Moksha Tower attempts to appeal to the four major religious groups in Mumbai. According to an article from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the tower “acts as a symbolic link between heaven and earth”:

For Muslims, it provides areas for funerals and space for garden burial; for Christians, areas for funerals and burial; for Hindus, facilities for cremation and a river to deposit a portion; for Parsis, a tower of silence is located on the roof of the tower.

Burial Eco-Death

Burial Goes Vertical

Aussie Undertakers Turn Funeral Business on Its Head… by Offering to Bury People Upright
Foreign News Service, Daily Mail Online (December 7, 2009)

Just when you thought there were enough options for final disposition, a company in Melbourne, Australia, invents a trolley that will cart around a corpse then deposit it vertically with minimal blunder into a narrow hole. The new six feet under is ten feet deep and two feet wide; bodies are sheathed in biodegradable sacks. Not only does this make it “eco-friendly,” such Upright Burials (the name of the company) would take up less real estate in space-sore cemeteries. As it is, the burials will be performed in a designated field outside of Melbourne that, once full, will be converted back into pasture.

Absent a coffin and the all fuss of a headstone (names are instead inscribed in a memorial wall), burial packages are about 60 percent cheaper than the average traditional burial. According to the Daily Mail Online article,

But Mr Dupleix [the company director] believes principle rather than price is the main reason for interest in vertical plots.

He said: “Most people are attracted by the simplicity of the project and the concept of being far more in touch with nature.”

You know… targeting poor people doesn’t automatically make you a jerk. And if that isn’t true, then it’s definitely true that greenwashing poverty (not to mention death) is a one-way ticket to more than 10 feet deep.