Floating cities have long been associated with sci-fi and video games, but scientists are currently working on a more practical version. Using innovative technologies, a “floating metropolis” could be created that harnesses the abundant solar energy of the open ocean. This type of sustainable urbanization would also provide a safe respite from flood-stricken communities. A floating city is a design concept for a self-supporting, environmentally friendly community that will be able to adapt to climate change.
The first major step towards creating a floating city is designing a prototype. It is hoped that this will be used as a model by other regions. To achieve this, the Seasteading Institute has partnered with a number of firms. These include Blue21, AT Design Office and CCCC.
Several types of floating structures have been designed. Some house minimal modernist architecture while others are nautical hybrids. One type of “floating metropolis” is based on waste plastic bottles for buoyancy. Another is designed to use local resources. Many of these designs will be modular, so they can be expanded and adapted as needed.
For example, Koen Olthius, founder of Waterstudio, designed a floating platform made of foam. The platform was shaped like an open mussel, with terraces rising upward. However, Olthius said that his vision for a floating metropolis is actually for waterborne extensions of existing cities. He believes that this type of city could be built in densely populated countries.
Floating cities are also expected to serve as a cost effective alternative to building in coastal areas. Since the construction of a floating city is done at low heights, it would be able to withstand the effects of a flood. The design of such a city is intended to be sustainable, too, by making use of the natural cooling properties of the water.
The future of floating cities is promising. They will be able to harness the abundant energy and water of the ocean and will become a greener and cheaper way to live. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) has already endorsed the plan. As a result, many governments and local authorities are collaborating on these projects.
For now, most of these floating cities are still connected to land via sewerage and energy. But there are also plans to create autonomous and self-sustaining sea-based communities. In addition to providing safe respite from floods, these communities will be able to produce energy from the sea.
Some of these projects are already underway, but researchers have a long way to go before they are feasible. But these ideas offer hope for some of the world’s most economically important coastal cities. There is a need for a sustainable and efficient means of utilizing natural resources to ensure that these cities will survive in the future.
The Oceanix City was inspired by the UN’s New City Agenda and the idea of a “floating island” was included as part of the plan. This is an ambitious project that includes an extensive team of experts.