The following are the all of the articles that have been tagged as and being related to Surface World that can be found here at Musings From Us, for your enjoyment.
The City of Ember was designed as a safe haven while the surface world was seeing the worst war/epidemic/natural disaster ever. We never really know why the city was built. We see a bunch of eggheads in a bunker at the beginning of the film, and they give a box to a middle-aged woman, the first Mayor of Ember. Ember itself is a self contained city, with enough canned stores to keep its people fed for two hundred years, as well as some greenhouses to grow vegetables. Each mayor is to pass along the box to the next mayor as the years count down, but at one point, one of the mayors dies from a heart attack, and the box is stuffed away in his home and forgotten.