'Angry Birds' Creator Wants To Build Undersea Tunnel To Connect Cities
4 months ago

Peter Vesterbacka may not be a household name, but many of us are familiar with the hit mobile game he helped create, Angry Birds. After taking the world by storm with a puzzle game that involved launching various birds to eliminate green pigs, he’s looking at an entirely new industry: quick travel. He’s looking to build underground tunnels that connects two Nordic countries.

Vesterbacka was the former chief marketing officer of Rovio Entertainment, the studio that brought us Angry Birds back in 2009. He left the company to pursue startup dreams in 2016, which ended up being a new game development studio in Finland called Lightneer. He would be marketing a new Pokemon Go-style education game called Big Bang Legends.

Shortly before leaving Rovio, Vesterbacka had the idea of a much different line of work -- building a tunnel between the capital cities of Finland and Estonia. At the moment, it takes roughly two hours to travel between the cities by ferry. With that travel time drastically shortened, Vesterbacka has the ultimate vision to create a “Nordic Silicon Valley” by fusing the Helsinki and Tallinn cities.

“Building a tunnel is different than building a game, but not that different,” Vesterbacka told BuzzFeed News. “It’s about making things happen, bringing the right people together...If they choose to underestimate my ability to make stuff happen, it is their problem.”

Costs for the development of the underground tunnels are expected to be around $18 billion US. 70 percent of the funding is expected to come from undisclosed investors from China and the rest from Scandinavian public pension funds. Based on a PricewaterhouseCoopers study, the tunnel would pay for itself over 37 years.

While Vesterbacka wants to have it completed by Christmas 2024, it could have a much longer timeframe. The Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland (largest in the world) took 20 years to complete. There are two engineering companies that are collaborating on the project and have decided to move toward two parallel tunnels instead of one big pathway. Construction will not happen until funding has been received.

Environmental permits could be an even bigger hurdle than funding. The European Union is still studying the project to see if it’s worth building in the first place. This is where Vesterbacka brings in the “Silicon Valley” aspect without the struggles of housing costs that exist in the Bay Area. He believes the region can grow faster by connecting the cities together.

The underground tunnel supersedes a previous idea of building a bridge that’s held up by balloons to connect the metropolitan areas. It certainly seems like a better idea and we’re seeing the concept of fast underground travel coming to life through Elon Musk and Virgin Hyperloop One. Multiple pathways are planned out across the country, including under Denver, Chicago, and between New York City and Washington DC.

CommunityEverything You Need To Know About Organic Sunscreen Before Hitting The Beach

With the summer fast approaching, plans for sunny beach days and long hiking trips are not far away. Before grabbing your next sunscreen off the shelf, read on to learn how to choose the best type of sunscreen while avoiding the sun’s harmful UV rays.

By Desiree Kaplan
1 day ago
FoodThis Detroit Non-Profit Created A Shipping Container Farm To Feed Their Community

The automaker has partnered with a local charity to grow year-round produce and teach children about farming.

By Nicole Caldwell
1 week ago
NewsAnnouncing The Winners Of Our #WorkGreen Challenge

And the winners are...

By Green Matters
2 weeks ago
FoodGrubTubs Turns Restaurant Waste Into Nutrient-Dense Animal Feed

A Q&A with GrubTubs founder Robert Olivier, who uses food waste from restaurants to help family farmers create nutrient-dense animal feed.

By Nicole Caldwell
4 weeks ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our newsletter