The reality of relying on finite land resources to cope with the endless stream of the dying has brought about creative solutions.
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One space-saving option is to put graves on top of each other, separated by a concrete divider, and have a shared headstone. This is common among couples and even whole families. A second option is stacking the dead above ground into niches built into walls, a bit like in a morgue, but adorned with headstones. A third, revolutionary option is to be buried in a building where each floor resembles a traditional cemetery.
Cemetery towers have been proposed for Paris and Mumbai. In Mexico City, there is another big project in the works: the Tower for the Dead, which will combine a vertical necropolis and an 820-foot-deep (250-meter-deep) subterranean complex. Currently in Mexico City, families are forced to exhume and remove their relatives’ remains after a period of years. Unclaimed remains may be reburied as unmarked loose bones beneath the fresh grave, or piled with others on exposed altars.