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Schwimmende Stadt nimmt Form an: Entsteht hier die Zukunft des Wohnens?

By Hannah Klaiber
T3N
2022.June.27

Der Meeresspiegel steigt. Für manche Regionen heißt das für die Zukunft, dass sie teilweise unter Wasser stehen oder ganz von der Landkarte verschwinden werden. Eine Möglichkeit, Städte vor diesem Schicksal zu bewahren, wird jetzt auf den Malediven getestet.

Von Hannah Klaiber
 • 2 Min. Lesezeit
Ein erstaunliches Architekturprojekt auf den Malediven bringt eine Stadt zum Schwimmen. (Grafik: Waterstudio / Dutch Docklands Maldives)

Auf dem Inselstaat im Indischen Ozean wird aktuell eine Stadt gebaut, für die der steigende Meeresspiegel keine Bedrohung darstellt: die Maldives Floating City. Sie schwimmt, wie der Name bereits andeutet, auf dem Wasser. Steigt das Wasser, steigt sie einfach mit.

Das bietet die schwimmende Stadt ihren Bewohnern

Weltweit gibt es weitere Pläne für derartige Städte, etwa in Südkorea. Die Niederlande sind ein Zentrum dieser Idee: Hier gibt es bereits schwimmende Parks und ein schwimmendes Bürogebäude.

Wie auf der Homepage der Maldives Floating City zu lesen ist, sollen die Bauarbeiten 2022 beginnen und im Laufe der nächsten fünf Jahre vollendet werden. Dann soll die Stadt Platz für 20.000 Menschen bieten. Jedes der farbenfrohen Häuser soll dann direkt am Meer liegen. Statt Klimaanlagen sollen die Menschen Abkühlung durch die Nutzung von Tiefseewasser erhalten. Die Objekte sollen für ein breites Klientel erschwinglich sein, die günstigste Option liege bei etwa 142.000 Euro für eine Atelierwohnung.

Schadet das Projekt der Umwelt?

Die Stadt ist ausgestattet mit allem, was man braucht, beispielsweise Restaurants, Geschäfte und Schulen. Bei den Fortbewegungsmitteln müssen die Bewohner hingegen Abstriche machen, Autos sind nämlich verboten. Dafür könnten sie Boote oder Räder nutzen.

Um die Stadt angelegte Korallenriffe sollen als Wellenbrecher dienen und die Stadt so stabilisieren, dass niemand seekrank wird. Natürlich gab es auch Umweltbedenken bei diesem Projekt. Koen Olthuis ist der Gründer von Waterstudio, der Architekturfirma, die die Stadt designt hat. Er sagte gegenüber CNN, dass Korallenexperten alles streng geprüft hätten. Zudem würden an der Unterseite der Stadt künstliche Korallenbänke angebracht, die das natürliche Wachstum von Korallen stimulieren sollen.

„Von Klima-Flüchtlingen zu Klima-Innovatoren“

Dass die Malediven besonderes Interesse an dem Projekt haben, sollte nicht überraschen. 80 Prozent der Landfläche liegen hier weniger als einen Meter über dem Meeresspiegel. Wenn die „Maldive Floating City“ ein Erfolg wird, wäre das ein riesiger Schritt für die bedroht Nation, wie Koen Olthuis erklärt. „Die Bewohner der Malediven würden damit von Klima-Flüchtlingen zu Klima-Innovatoren werden.“

click here to source website

click here for the project

A floating city is set to rise off the coast of the Maldives as a solution to sea-level rise

By Nathaniel Bahadursingh
Archinect
2022.June.23

Image: Waterstudio
Image: Waterstudio

A city is rising from the waters of the Indian Ocean. In a turquoise lagoon, just 10 minutes by boat from Male, the Maldivian capital, a floating city, big enough to house 20,000 people, is being constructed. — CNN

Called the Maldives Floating City, the first-of-its-kind development is a joint venture between property developer Dutch Docklands and the Government of the Maldives. Netherlands-based architecture firm Waterstudio, which focuses on large-scale, sustainable floating projects, is the architecture firm behind the project’s design. Taking the shape of a brain coral, the city is structured as a traditional boating community, with a network of canals that will serve as the main infrastructure for logistics and gateways. It will consist of 5,000 floating units, along with houses, restaurants, shops, and schools.

Previously on Archinect: Updated design emerges for BIG’s floating city in Busan, South Korea for OCEANIX

The city was conceived as a practical solution to sea-level rise in one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to climate change. Its modular units are constructed in a local shipyard and towed to the city when complete. They are then attached to a large underwater concrete hull, which is screwed to the seabed on telescopic steel stilts. In addition, artificial coral banks made from glass foam will be connected to the underside of the city in order to stimulate natural coral growth. Solar power, local sewage treatment and repurposing, and deep water sea cooling are among the sustainable features that will allow the city to be self-sufficient. The first units at Maldives Floating City will be unveiled this month, with residents set to arrive in early 2024. The entire city is due to be completed by 2027.

click here for source website

The Maldives are building a floating city to address rising sea levels and population

By Jonathan Ore & Morgan Passi
CBC Radio
2022.June.23

Venture between Maldivian government and a Dutch firm hopes to provide floating homes for 20K people

Concept art for a floating city in the Maldives, which is currently under construction. Design firm Waterstudio says it plans to house up to 20,000 people in the face of rising sea levels and the already-densely packed population of the island nation. (Waterstudio/Dutch Docklands Maldives)

The Maldives is in the early stages of building an elaborately designed floating city in an effort to ensure future livable spaces, as sea levels continue to rise, and provide new affordable spaces for the densely populated island nation.

The city, currently dubbed “Maldives Floating City,” is a joint project between the government of the Maldives and property developer Dutch Docklands.

“A floating city should look exactly the same like normal cities. So with sandy roads, beautiful, colourful houses. But then if you look under the city, it’s floating,” said Koen Olthuis, architect and founder of Waterstudio, the architectural firm that designed the city.

“That means that the whole city can move up and down with [tides] and with extreme floods and with sea level rise. But it won’t be different than a normal city,” he told As It Happens guest host Tom Harrington.

Young men swimming at sunset by the tetrapods on Nov. 6, 2016 in Male, Maldives. The Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean, is the world’s lowest-lying country, with no part lying more than 2 metres above sea level and more than 80 per cent of its scattered islands less than 1 metre above sea level. (Aishath Adam/Getty Images)

The city will include a mix of affordable housing as well as higher-end homes, in addition to restaurants, hotels and shops. Prices for the homes will range from $150,000 US ($194,000 Cdn) for a studio apartment to $250,000 ($323,000 Cdn) for family homes.

A total of 5,000 living units are planned, with a capacity of housing 20,000 people once construction is completed some time in 2027. The Maldives and Dutch Docklands are set to unveil its first completed units in the coming weeks, with people starting to move in by 2024.

Abdulla Mausoom, the Maldives’ minister of tourism, said the city “will compliment futuristic, sustainable tourism and living” in a tweet on Wednesday.

Rising sea levels, accelerated by climate change, pose a particularly dire threat to the Maldives, which is made up of over 1,100 islands, many of them barely a metre above sea level.

According to National Geographic, some experts fear it may become the first nation on the planet to disappear entirely beneath sea waters.

The ‘brain coral’ city

Concept art so far depicts brightly coloured homes sitting on calm waters. An overhead view shows a network of buildings and water canals, arranged in patterns resembling brain coral.

The design comes from “the goal of living with nature and leaning to improve and respect natural coral … which leads to new knowledge emphasising the responsibility Maldives takes as centre for coral protection in the world,” reads an explanation on the project’s promotional website.

As Olthuis explains, much of the Maldives are surrounded by coral reefs, some of which should help protect the 200-hectare floating city from the worst storms and other extreme weather the Indian Ocean might offer.

The homes, restaurants and other buildings are planned to be laid out in a hexagonal pattern resembling brain coral. (Waterstudio/Dutch Docklands Maldives)

The Maldivian capital Malé itself is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with a population of over 200,000 people packed on an island about eight square kilometres across.

Olthuis said you might consider the floating city an extension of Malé itself because of its close proximity, allowing residents access to already-existing infrastructure such as schools and health-care.

Possible living solutions for around the world

This isn’t the only time a floating city has been proposed as a direct answer to rising sea levels. The South Korean city of Busan announced in December that it was working on a prototype for Oceanix, a similar city that would expand off the coast of the shipping city of Busan.

The Busan government announced it was a joint project with UN-Habitat, the United Nation’s agency for urban and sustainable development.

A total of 5,000 living units are planned, with a capacity of housing 20,000 people once construction is completed some time in 2027. (Waterstudio/Dutch Docklands Maldives)

Olthuis said the Maldives project has been in the works for nearly 10 years, and that the planning and design work that has so far gone into the Maldives city could be applied to similar projects in other coastal communities around the world threatened by rising sea levels.

“If you look at Miami, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, they all have the same problems: lack of space, threat of sea level,” he said.

“They have to make the move from fighting against the water, to living with water.”

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Het architectenbureau van Koen Olthuis heeft een drijvende stad ontworpen voor de Malediven – daar moeten 20.000 mensen kunnen wonen

Het architectenbureau van Koen Olthuis heeft een drijvende stad ontworpen voor de Malediven – daar moeten 20.000 mensen kunnen wonen

Het Nederlandse architectenbureau Waterstudio heeft een ontwerp gemaakt voor een drijvende stad in de Malediven, een eilandengroep in de Indische Oceaan.

De Floating City van de Malediven, zoals het ontwerp heet, is een uitgestrekte groep van modulaire drijvende platforms in het patroon van hersenkoraal.

Koen Olthuis, de oprichter van Waterstudio, vertelt aan Insider dat het project een samenwerking is tussen de Dutch Docklands, een lokale projectontwikkelaar en de plaatselijke overheid in Male. Een van de doelen is om meer ruimte vrij te maken voor woningbouw.

Olthuis vertelt dat de bouw van de drijvende stad ook een oplossing kan bieden voor de dreigende stijging van zeespiegel waar komende generaties mee te maken krijgen.

“Het wordt een begaanbare stad met drijvende straten. Er worden boten ingezet voor het vervoer van goederen en mensen binnen de stad en naar de hoofdstad Male”, aldus Olthuis.

Hij geeft aan dat de kosten van levensonderhoud in de stad zelf vergelijkbaar zouden zijn met die op het land in de Malediven. “In 2027 zouden er 20.000 mensen moeten wonen in 5.000 huizen,” schat Olthuis.

 

Volgens CNN zal de stad zijn eerste woningen deze maand nog openstellen voor bezichtiging. De prijzen starten bij omgerekend 142.500 euro voor een studio-appartement, en lopen op tot 237.500 euro voor een eengezinswoning. De ontwikkelaars verwachten dat de bewoners begin 2024 hun intrek zullen nemen op het eiland. De hele stad moet in 2027 klaar zal zijn.

Volgens het persbericht van de projectontwikkelaar zal de stad bestaan uit modulaire, zeshoekige segmenten die verbonden zijn met een buitenste ring van barrière-eilanden. Het onderste deel van de stad wordt bevestigd aan stabilisatoren die bescherming bieden tegen de golven en stroming.

Het idee voor de drijvende stad op de Malediven is vergelijkbaar met dat van Oceanix, een concept voor een drijvende stad die bestaat uit onderling verbonden platforms. Busan, een havenstad in Zuid-Korea, gaf toestemming voor het door de VN gesteunde project, dat plaats zal bieden aan ongeveer 12.000 mensen.

Patrick Verkooijen, CEO van de klimaatdenktank Global Center on Adaptation, vertelde CNN dat hij het idee van een drijvende stad een goede oplossing vindt voor de stijgende zeespiegel.

“De kosten van het niet aanpassen aan deze overstromingsrisico’s zijn buitengewoon hoog”, aldus Verkooijen tegen CNN. “We hebben een keuze te maken: of we stellen uit en betalen de prijs, of we plannen en groeien. Drijvende kantoren en drijvende gebouwen maken deel uit van deze planning voor het klimaat van de toekomst.”

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Epic layout photos showcase the vision for a floating water city in Maldives

By Scott Gleeson
Usa Today
2022.June.22

A Dutch architectural firm is poised to build an innovative floating city in the Maldives, a Southern Asia nation of islands located in the Indian Ocean.

The city, designed by Dutch firm Waterstudio, is slated to house 20,000 people in a web of 5,000 floating buildings, all of which will include homes, shops and even schools, according to the official website for Maldives Floating City. They’ll all be interspersed as a mass of modular floating platforms in the pattern of a brain coral.

The floating city will be located just 10 minutes by boat from Male, the capital of the Maldives. The project is headed by Waterstudio in collaboration with developer Dutch Docklands and the local government in Male. Koen Olthuis told CNN the city will feature studio apartments for $150,000 and family units for $250,000.

Utopian desert city Telosa: Billionaire Marc Lore outlines how he will build the inclusive city

“With its unique location in a paradisiacal setting, we are extremely proud to launch the first Floating City in the world,” said Paul HTM van de Camp, CEO of Dutch Docklands, in a news release. “This will be an amazing place where locals and foreigners can buy their dream property at affordable prices”

The designs of the floating city are aimed to offer a solution to the threat of rising sea levels for generations ahead, Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed said in a news release.

“This Maldives Floating City does not require any land reclamation, therefore has a minimal impact on the coral reefs. What’s more: giant, new reefs will be grown to act as water breakers. Our adaption to climate change mustn’t destroy nature but work with it, as the Maldives Floating City proposes. In the Maldives we cannot stop the waves, but we can rise with them.”

Below is a look at some of the epic images, provided to USA TODAY by Waterstudio.

An exterior look of the floating water city slated to be built in Maldives.
An exterior look of the floating water city slated to be built in Maldives.
WATERSTUDIO/DUTCH DOCKLANDS MALDIVES
An interior look at designs for the floating water city in Maldives.
An interior look at designs for the floating water city in Maldives.
WATERSTUDIO/DUTCH DOCKLANDS (MALDIVES)
A look at the town of a floating water city in Maldives.
A look at the town of a floating water city in Maldives.
WATERSTUDIO/DUTCH DOCKLANDS (MALDIVES)
The floating water city of Maldives up close.
The floating water city of Maldives up close.
WATERSTUDIO/DUTCH DOCKLANDS (MALDIVES)

A floating city is coming up in Maldives amidst rising sea level

By C. Krishnasai
Wion
2022.June.22

(Credit: Waterstudio.NL/Dutch Docklands) The project is slated to be finished by 2027 Photograph:( Agencies )

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

The first units will be unveiled this month (June), with prices starting at $150,000 for a studio apartment, and going up to $250,000 for a family home

Amidst looming environmental crisis and rising sea level, a floating city is being made just 10-minute boat ride from Maldives’ Male city in the Indian Ocean.

According to CNN, the city will be designed resembling a brain coral. It will consist of 5,000 floating units including houses, restaurants, shops and schools, with canals running in between.

The first units will be unveiled this month (June), with prices starting at $150,000 for a studio apartment, and going up to $250,000 for a family home.

The developers are expecting residents to begin moving into the island in early 2024, with the whole city due to be completed by 2027.

The Maldives Floating City, developed jointly by the Dutch firm Waterstudio and the Maldives government, aims to house 20,000 people in less than five years.

Notably, this will be the second floating city in world. The first one was announced in April by the United Nations off South Korea’s second-largest city, Busan. Known as Oceanix City, it plans to provide homes for a community of 12,000 people, potentially rising to 100,000, with construction due to start in 2023.

This is “new hope” for the more than half a million people of the Maldives, said Koen Olthuis, founder of Waterstudio, the architecture firm that designed the city.

“It can prove that there is affordable housing, large communities, and normal towns on the water that are also safe. They (Maldivians) will go from climate refugees to climate innovators,” he told CNN.

Features of Maldives Floating City includes rainbow-colored homes designed to attract local people. Wide balconies and seafront views are added onto each home. For transportation, residents will get around on boats, or they can walk, cycle or drive electric scooters or buggies.

Floating city“Tech is not the problem, but it is the regulatory framework that takes time to adjust,” Olthuis explained.

“Money talks and so this means when authorities understand that the cost of floating development are lower than the cost of destruction of waterfront infrastructure and properties then this next shift in city development will fly.”

click here for source website

the maldives is building a floating ‘island city’ in response to rising sea levels

 

WATERSTUDIO + DUTCH DOCKLANDS BUILD MALDIVES FLOATING CITY

Architecture firm Waterstudio has teamed up with Dutch Docklands to develop a floating city that responds efficiently to the threat of the rising seas in the Maldives. The project, which was created in collaboration with the local government, is located in a warm-water lagoon just minutes away from the Maldivian capital. This first-of-its-kind ‘island city’ consists of 5,000 floating units, including dwellingsrestaurants, businesses, and schools, with canals running between them in a pattern similar to brain coral. Inhabitants are expected to begin moving into the complex in early 2024 while the entire city will be completed by 2027.

 

MODELED AFTER AN ACTUAL BRAIN CORAL

The Maldives Floating City serves as the beginning of a new era in which Maldivians return to the ocean through durable, environmentally friendly floating constructions. The newly unveiled project features a unique nature-inspired road and water canal system modeled after the efficient structure of actual brain coral. In this way, the complex projects and stimulates coral growth by creating blue ecosystems above and beneath the sea surface. Artificial coral banks will be linked to the city’s underbelly, encouraging natural coral growth. The lagoon’s submerged and protected coral reefs will act as a natural wave breaker, providing occupants with comfort and safety when combined with the interconnected grid of floating structures.

 

A SEA-LEVEL RISE-PROOF URBAN DEVELOPMENT

The architects at Waterstudio and the developers at Dutch Docklands envision the floating metropolis as a next-generation structure that balances sustainability and livability. The project is being created as a practical solution to the hard reality of sea-level rise, rather than just a future ideal. Its smart infrastructure and dynamic, adaptable configuration can respond to weather and climate change, as the city will rise with the tide.

The structure protects and enriches the pristine maritime ecosystem by employing innovative sustainable development technology and ecological best practices. The project seeks to deliver security and development space to the Maldives, as well as a mix of green technology, safety, commercial feasibility, and a healthy new lifestyle that will serve as the foundation for future floating cities. As a result, the Maldivians’ fate will be rewritten from climate exiles to climate innovators.

 

A floating city is being built in the Maldives. It comprises a web of residences, shops, and schools that will one day be home to 20,000 people.

By Cheryl Teh
Business Insider
2022.June.22

An aerial mockup of the Maldives Floating City
The Maldives Floating City is slated for completion in 2027, and is projected to house 20,000 people in 5,000 floating, modular units. 
Waterstudio.NL/Dutch Docklands
  • A Dutch developer is building a sprawling, floating city in the Maldives.
  • The city is slated to house 20,000 people in a web of 5,000 floating buildings.
  • These buildings will include homes, shops, and even schools — all located 10 minutes away from Male.

A Dutch architectural firm is on a mission to create a floating city located just 10 minutes away from Male.

The Maldives Floating City, designed by Dutch firm Waterstudio, is an expansive mass of modular floating platforms in the pattern of a brain coral.

Koen Olthuis, the founder of Waterstudio, the architectural firm behind the city, told Insider that the project is a collaboration between the Dutch Docklands, a local developer, and the local government in Male. One of its aims is to free up more room for housing on the mainland.

Olthuis told Insider that building the floating city would also offer a solution to the threat of rising sea levels for generations to come.

“It will be a walkable city with floating streets, utilizing boats for the transport of goods and people within the city, and to the capital city of Male,” Olthuis said.

 

He added that the cost of living in the city itself would be comparable to local land-based developments in the Maldives.

“In 2027, we should have 20,000 people living in 5,000 houses,” Olthius estimated.

A mock-up image of the Maldives Floating City
A virtual mock-up of the Maldives Floating City shows azure seas with boats used for transporting residents from module to module, and to the mainland. 
Waterstudio.NL/Dutch Docklands

According to CNN, the city will be opening up its first units for viewing this month, with prices starting at $150,000 for a studio apartment, and going up to $250,000 for a family home. The developers expect residents to begin moving into the island in early 2024, with the whole city due to be completed by 2027.

Per the developer’s press release, the city will comprise modular, hexagonal segments connected to an outer ring of barrier islands. The bottom portion of the city will be attached to stabilizers that buttress it against the waves while also keeping the buildings and structures safe against the current.

Click here for source website

Click here for the project

Maldiividele plaanitakse ehitada ujuv linn kaitseks maailmamere tõusu eest

By Teadus
2022.June.21

Maldiividele plaanitakse ehitada ujuv linn kaitseks maailmamere tõusu eest
Linn hakkab asuma ligi viiel tuhandel väikesel ujuvsaarel.
Linn hakkab asuma ligi viiel tuhandel väikesel ujuvsaarel.Foto: Maldives Floating City / Waterstudio

India ookeani saareriik Maldiivid asub vaid mõni meeter üle merepinna ning maailmamere tõus kliimasoojenemise tagajärjel ähvardab need saared kiiresti vee alla jätta. Selle vastu pakub lahenduse Hollandi disainifirma, mis ehitab ujuvaid linnasid.

Ujuvad saared pole iseenesest midagi uut, neid leidub nii Aasias kui Lõuna-Ameerikas ja neid on kasutanud elamiseks pärismaalased aastatuhandeid. Kinnisvaraarendajatele on ka juba pikka aega tundunud ujuvad saared väga ahvatlevad, sest maapinda ju pole vaja ning tagatud on vaade veekogule. Kuid selliste eluruumide muutmine moodsaks kinnisvaraks on alati olnud keeruline.

Ujuva elukoha pakub välja Hollandi disainistuudio Waterstudio koostöös Hollandis asuva Dutch Docklandsi ja Maldiivide valitsusega, et ehitada üleujutusohus Maldiividele selline linn, mis kunagi vee alla ei jää. See hakkab kerkima koos merevee tasemega. Praegu on Maldiividel 80% protsenti riigist vähem kui meetri kõrgusel merepinnast ja kui maailmamere tase peaks saja aasta jooksul meetri jagu tõusma, jääks enamus riigist vee alla.

Ujuv linn saab värvikirev, kesksel kohal on muidugi vesi ja veeteed.
Ujuv linn saab värvikirev, kesksel kohal on muidugi vesi ja veeteed.Foto: Maldives Floating City / Waterstudio

Firma on ujuvaid maju disaininud isegi Läänemere äärde ja ehitanud Madalmaadesse mitmeid ujuvaid saari. Maldiivide projekt on siiski ambitsioonikam – laiendatav ala peab mahutama väikese linna jagu elamispindu ning kuna tegemist on ookeaniga, siis peaks see vastu pidama ka suuremale lainetusele ja tuultele.

Ujuv asula hakkab asuma soojaveelises laguunis korallrahude vahel kümneminutilise paadisõidu kaugusel Maldiivide pealinnast Malest ning Male rahvusvahelisest lennujaamast. Esimene omataoline «saarelinn» pakub revolutsioonilist lähenemist säästvale eluviisile taevasinise India ookeani taustal. Futuristlik unistuste maastik hakkab hõljuma paindlikul ja funktsionaalsel «võrgul» üle 200 hektari suurusel alal.

Ujuvasse linna on planeeritud elamispinnad kümnele tuhandele elanikule, majad asuvad ligi viiel tuhandel alusel, millele tulevad lisaks majadele veel ka restoranid, koolid ja kauplused. Moodulite vahel on kanalid ja sillad, et saaks nii paadiga kui jala liikuda.

Esimesed elanikud kolivad ookeanil hulpivasse linna sisse 2024. aastal ja kõik saab valmis 2027. aastaks.

Elemendid, millest saar ehitatakse, hakkavad paiknema korallimustrit meenutavalt. Korallid kaitsevad linna ookeanilainete eest.
Elemendid, millest saar ehitatakse, hakkavad paiknema korallimustrit meenutavalt. Korallid kaitsevad linna ookeanilainete eest.Foto: Maldives Floating City

Kuigi ujuv kinnisvara võib tunduda pigem vallasvarana või laeva või pargasena, mida saab ühest kohast teise viia, siis Maldiividel läheb see kirja kinnisvarana, millele saab laenu võtta ning millel on kindel postiaadress. Minema liikuda sellega ei saa.

Elektrit toodetakse taaskasutatavatest allikatest ning jäätmete vedu tahetakse ka lahendada roheliselt, nii et midagi ei peaks ära viskama. Prügi ladustamine on ujuval saarel võimatu ning merre ei saa ka midagi jätta. Pealegi on linna asukohas ohustatud korallid.

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A modern marvel? Floating city rising from the Indian Ocean

By Star digital Report
2022.June.21

Maldives Floating City

Photo courtesy: Waterstudio.NL/Dutch Docklands

A city is rising from the Indian Ocean.

The floating city large enough to house 20,000 people is being built in a turquoise lagoon – just 10 minutes by boat from Male, the Maldivian capital, CNN reports.

The city will be built in the shape of a brain coral, with 5,000 floating units including houses, restaurants, shops, and schools with canals running in between. The first units will be unveiled this month, with residents expected to begin moving in early 2024, and the entire city is expected to be finished by 2027, the CNN report said.

The project, a collaboration between property developer Dutch Docklands and the Maldives government, is not intended to be a wild experiment or a futuristic vision. It is being built as a practical solution to the harsh reality of sea-level rise, CNN said.

Maldives Floating City

Photo courtesy: Waterstudio.NL/Dutch Docklands

The Maldives is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. Eighty percent of its land area is less than one meter above sea level, and with levels expected to rise up to a meter by the end of the century, nearly the entire country could be submerged, said the report published on June 20, 2022.

But a floating city could rise with the sea

This is “new hope” for the more than half a million people of the Maldives, said Koen Olthuis, founder of architecture firm Waterstudio that designed the city. “It can prove that there is affordable housing, large communities, and normal towns on the water that are also safe. They (Maldivians) will go from climate refugees to climate innovators,” he told CNN.

According to the report, the project’s goal is to build a city for 20,000 people in less than five years. Other floating city plans, including Oceanix City in Busan, South Korea, and a series of floating islands in the Baltic Sea developed by the Dutch company Blue21 have been announced, but none compete with this scale and timeframe of this project.

The Maldives’ capital is vastly overcrowded, with no room for expansion other than into the sea, it said.

Maldives Floating City

Photo courtesy: Waterstudio.NL/Dutch Docklands

The modular units are built in a nearby shipyard and then towed to the floating city. They are then attached to a large underwater concrete hull that is screwed to the seabed on telescopic steel stilts that allow it to gently fluctuate with the waves. The coral reefs that surround the city act as a natural wave breaker, stabilizing it and preventing seasickness.

Olthuis told CNN that the structure’s potential environmental impact was rigorously assessed by local coral experts and approved by government authorities before construction began. Artificial coral banks made of glass foam are connected to the city’s underside to support marine life, which he claims helps stimulate coral growth naturally.

There will be electricity, powered predominantly by solar generated on site, and sewage will be treated locally and repurposed as plant manure. Instead of air conditioning, the city will use deep water sea cooling, which involves pumping cold water from the deep sea into the lagoon, thereby saving energy, the report said.

The goal is for the city to be self-sufficient and to perform all of the same functions as a city on land.

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