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These eco-friendly futuristic floating homes are currently under construction

By Tamara Hardingham-Gill
CNN Travel

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(CNN) — Floating homes, luxury living and smart home technology aren’t necessarily things that tend to go hand in hand.
But Ocean Builders, a Panama-based company that specializes in innovative marine technology, has just unveiled a fleet of “revolutionary living pods” that manage to bring all three together.
Described as the “world’s first eco-restorative homes,” the pods, which range from around $295,000 to $1.5 million in price, are currently under construction in the Linton Bay Marina on the north coast of Panama.
Designed by Dutch architect Koen Olthuis and his team at Waterstudio, the three models available include flagship model the SeaPod, built for aquatic living, the GreenPod, devised for land use, and the EcoPod, an ecologically and economically friendly option.

Elevated structure

A rendering of the Seapod, one of three upcoming pod models from Panama-based company Ocean Builders.

A rendering of the Seapod, one of three upcoming pod models from Panama-based company Ocean Builders.
Ocean Builders
The Seapod was conceptualized by Rüdiger Koch, Head of Engineering at Ocean Builders, along with Chief Executive Officer Grant Romundt, as a solution to the lack of space in popular beach destinations.
The elevated structure provides 833 square feet (73 square meters) of living space, including a master bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom, spread across three and a half levels.
With room for two people, the unit utilizes over 1,688 cubic feet of air-filled steel tubes to float 7.5 feet (2.2 meters) over the waves, and features 575 square feet of panoramic windows and 360-degree ocean views.
Romundt hopes the design will challenge perceptions of homes and travel, as well as allow residents to live on the water without having to make sacrifices when it comes to the “luxuries of modern living.”
“Normally when you live on the water, it’s on a boat, which has a living situation that is unacceptable to most people,” Romundt tells CNN Travel.
“So we’ve designed a home that floats on the water that gives you an experience of living on land, but even more.”
The pods are to be equipped with state-of-the-art technology, along with customizable applications that tailor the design and functionality to suit those inside.

Futuristic homes

The elevated structure was designed by Dutch architect Koen Olthuis and the Waterstudio team.

The elevated structure was designed by Dutch architect Koen Olthuis and the Waterstudio team.
Ocean Builders
Meanwhile, special “smart rings” worn by residents will enable them to unlock doors and switch their music on at the wave of a hand.
“If [technology company] Apple had built a home, I think you would end up with the SeaPod, or the GreenPod, or the EcoPod,” says Romundt. “There’s a lot of technology built into the homes.
“I like to think of it as, instead of having a phone as a digital assistant, your home actually becomes your assistant, and you can use it to optimize your life.”
The pods will initially be located in an area close to the Linton Bay Marina. However, the Ocean Builders team hope to be able to distribute them internationally once they’re confident the technology can be supported elsewhere.
A long-time advocate for oceanfront living, Romundt previously lived in a floating home in Toronto, and says it’s a lifestyle that’s hard to match.
“There’s just something really magical about being able to get up in the morning, walk downstairs, jump on a paddleboard and go for a paddle,” he explains.

Delivery drones

The units are currently under construction in Panama, with sales due to launch online later this year.

The units are currently under construction in Panama, with sales due to launch online later this year.
Ocean Builders
“It’s very peaceful and beautiful. Most people spend all year dreaming of their two-week vacation where they go to a tropical island, hang out, relax, regenerate and restore themselves.
“So why not just live like that all year round? It’s so easy to be able to work remotely now.”
While those who opt to live in one of these particular units will likely need to have a sense of adventure, as well as a fondness for water, Romundt says the team don’t necessarily have a specific type of customer in mind.
In fact, he’s confident that the majority of those who get to experience the Seapod for just a few minutes will jump at the chance of owning one.
“When I lived in my floating house in Toronto, every single person that came over to visit fell in love with the place,” he says.
“So all I need to do is to get people to step on board a Seapod for five minutes. The experience will just blow your mind. It’s really incredible.”
But what about practicalities such as buying groceries, as well as traveling back and forth from the pod to the mainland?
According to Romundt, customized aerial delivery drones are to be used to deliver items such as food and medicine, as well as “everyday smaller items.”
For larger deliveries, there’s a separate autonomous vessel, which will also function as an ocean recycling vessel, collecting garbage and debris in order to keep the surrounding area clean.

‘Eco-restorative homes’

The pods are to be "built and managed in harmony with the surrounding area."

The pods are to be “built and managed in harmony with the surrounding area.”
Ocean Builders
Residents and visitors can be transported to and from the SeaPod via dinghy boats, jet skis, local water taxis, and/or their own boats or vessels.
And although they certainly seem to be geared towards those with a more minimalist approach, there’s a storage area measuring 1,250 square feet inside.
With a focus on sustainability, the pods have been devised “to benefit the surrounding environment” and provide “a natural habitat for ocean life to occupy and thrive.”
“We’re trying to build and design a home that is good for the environment, and doesn’t harm the environment,” explains Romundt.
“And we’re always trying to innovate and to find ways to do that in an even better way. We’re not perfect right now, but we’re trying to get better and better all the time.”
The first completed pods are to be revealed online in late September, and potential buyers will be able to go and view them for themselves soon after.
“People have been trying to buy them for years,” Romundt says, explaining that the Ocean Builders team decided not to take deposits until buyers could actually see the pods in real life.

‘Massive undertaking’

The SeaPod provides 833 square feet (73 square meters) spread across three and a half levels.

The SeaPod provides 833 square feet (73 square meters) spread across three and a half levels.
Ocean Builders
“This is something so new. And there are so many real estate things that people put money into which never actually happen.
“We didn’t want to take deposits until people could actually come down and set foot on a pod. So I’m excited that we’re finally at that point.”
“This is a massive undertaking. I wanted to have it done two years ago. But to have it done in only three and a half years is pretty amazing.”
Those who snap up one of the first 100 Ocean Builders pods will be able to move in by the end of 2023, providing everything goes to plan.
Production is scheduled to begin on a further 1,000 pods by 2024.

Nederlandse architect Koen Olthuis ontwerpt Sea Pods

By Ella Vermeulen

Een pod boven zee, daar hebben we toch wat vragen over.

Jachten zijn zó 2021, trendsetters denken al druk na over nieuwe interactie met de zee. Een van hen is de Nederlandse architect Koen Olthuis die voor Ocean Builders SeaPods ontwierp als ‘s werelds eerste ‘eco-restorative floating homes’. Wat heerlijke vaagtaal is voor: ‘Hoe dan?!’

Olthuis ontwierp drie pods: de SeaPod voor leven op het water, de GreenPod voor op het land en de EcoPod als milieuvriendelijk alternatief. Bij die laatste twee kun je je vast wel iets voorstellen, de SeaPod moet iets doen aan de groeiende vraag naar huizen aan de kust #oceanfrontliving

Elke pod, volmaakt voor zelfisolatie in tijden van pandemieën, is zo’n elf meter hoog, bevindt zich zo’n 2,5 meter boven de waterspiegel en is goed beschouwd een enorme dobber.

Hij biedt zo’n 44 vierkante meter woonruimte op drie halve etages, dit is de ‘water patio’. Verder heb je een slaapkamer, een woonkamer…

… een keuken, een badkamer (wc-papier behoort tot het verleden, je spoelt je schoon, de grote boodschap wordt verbrandt en met die warmte wordt weer water verwarmd – alles is op duurzaamheid gericht) en een opslagruimte.

De eigenaar krijgt een smartring om de high techy-tech mee te bedienen, drones leveren boodschappen af.

In de douche (het is meer een compacte, complete spa) zit een klimwand om mee op het dak te komen, je dient dus wel behoorlijk fit te zijn om je boodschappen op te pikken.

De ontwerpers noemen dit ‘a fun and unique way to get to the roof’. Misschien dat de drone ook op het plateau beneden kan landen, voor wie niet klautervaardig is? Plus: hoe kom je met die doos beneden als je je handen nodig hebt op die klimwand? Zo. Veel. Vragen!

Hoewel de pods op de meeste tekeningen in zee liggen, zie je op andere schetsen onderaan toch een klein plateau om op te kunnen stappen voor je de trap naar boven neemt door de schacht. Hoe je er komt is ook niet duidelijk, vermoedelijk met een e-tender, al dan niet zelfvarend.

De onderkant biedt ‘een natuurlijke habitat voor het zeeleven’. De pods – ze worden gebouwd in Panama – zijn vanaf september te koop vanaf 295.000 dollar tot 1,5 miljoen dollar.

Het is een prachtig concept, maar niet duidelijk is hoe de megadobber zich houdt in zwaar weer. De stabiliteit wordt aangeprezen, maar je kunt je voorstellen dat de champagne uit je glas klotst bij een flinke storm. Plus: moet ie niet op een of andere manier geankerd worden, om te voorkomen die ie wegdrijft? En werkt het systeem ook nog als de onderkant onder de algen, kokkels en mosselen zit?

Ook niet helemaal duidelijk is wie dit soort dingen voor de kust zou willen hebben: mensen steigeren al over windparken op zee die amper te zien zijn vanaf de wal – wil je echt het collectieve uitzicht over zee verbreken met een paar bewoonde dobbers? Hoe dan ook: binnenkort vast te bewonderen, voor een rijke enclave ergens ter wereld. En kudos voor Koen, voor deze nieuwe Nederlandse kijk op leven met/op het water!

click here for source website

Forget Yachts. These Floating Homes Will Give You a Luxe Eco-Friendly Residence on the Sea.

By Rachel Cormack
Robb Report

The SeaPods come with a luxe three-story interior that can be controlled by a smart ring.

These Floating Homes Are a Luxe Eco-Friendly Residence on the Sea
The life aquatic is now looking even more appealing thanks to Ocean Builders.
The Panama-based company, which specializes in innovative marine technology, has just unveiled a new fleet of pods homes designed for life on the ocean. The singular abodes pair quality craftsmanship with the latest green tech to ensure you can live both comfortably and sustainably on the seas.

The range includes three models that were each penned by Dutch architect Koen Olthius. The SeaPod is built for aquatic living, the GreenPod is engineered for the land and the EcoPod is the environmentally friendly option. Billed as the world’s first eco-restorative floating home, the SeaPod was designed to address the lack of space in desirable seaside destinations.


The interior of the EcoPod.

“Every day thousands of people all over the world move closer to the top 15 major metropolitan cities which are within 50 miles of a coastline—a trend that will continue to grow,” Ocean Builders CEO Grant Romundt said in a statement.

Essentially, the elevated offshore structures give travelers and residents alike a chance to live on the water in the lap of luxury. Each pod sits nearly eight feet above the waves and offers 830 square feet of living space. The interior, which is spread across three levels, comprises a primary bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a large storage space. Each home is also equipped with 575 square feet of panoramic windows and a patio for unobstructed ocean views.

These are smart pods, too. Special software allows residents to control everything from the lighting and temperature to shower heat and water pressure. Each pod also comes with a wearable smart ring for the owner. With a simple wave of the hand, you can unlock doors, turn on music and more.

If that’s not futuristic enough, a fleet of drones will be used to drop food, medicine and everyday items to the pods, while larger autonomous vessels will carry out bigger deliveries like furniture and luggage. There will also be another self-sailing vessel to collect trash and clean up the area.

A drone dropping a delivery to an EcoPod.

A drone dropping a delivery to an EcoPod. Ocean Builders

As for the eco-restorative part, Ocean Builders says it has developed a way to create a natural habitat for ocean life underneath each home. In turn, this will help create thriving underwater ecosystems.

“We’ve been motivated by the opportunity to change and challenge the traditional real estate and tourism models and create first-in-class living experiences that can give back to our ocean environment,” Romundt adds.

The pods are currently manufactured in Panama and will be located there for the first year. Eventually, the pods will be shipped elsewhere. Available to order from September, the floating homes start at roughly $295,000 and can go up to $1.5 million based on upgrades and customization. Ocean Builders claims it will have the first 100 custom pods either in production or delivered by the end of 2023. It also says the second rollout of 1,000 pods will begin in 2024.

Bring on the life aquatic.

Click here to see all the photos of the SeaPod and EcoPod. 

12 futuristic cities being built around the world, from Saudi Arabia to China

By Maan Jalal
The National News

The Mirror Line, Chengdu Future City and Telosa are among the exciting projects in the pipeline

As the world changes, so must our cities.

With world’s population continuing to increase and climate change drastically affecting our environment, many metropolises are struggling to grow, develop and even support citizens within current and traditional urban designs.

Governments, entrepreneurs and technology companies are employing some of the world’s leading architects and designers to rethink the idea of cities, how people can interact and how to live within them.

From reclaimed land, groundbreaking skyscrapers in the desert and cities rising in the metaverse, here are 12 incredible futuristic cities redefining the urban spaces we live in.

The Mirror Line, Saudi Arabia

Designers: Morphosis Architects

Location: Saudi Arabia

The $500 billion Neom project in Saudi Arabia is set to be home to a record-setting 170-kilometre-long skyscraper called the Mirror Line.

It will be the world’s largest structure, comprising of two buildings up to 490 metres tall, running parallel to each other. The structures will be connected by walkways and a high-speed transport system, which will connect one end of the city to the other in 20 minutes.

Designed by the US-based Morphosis Architects, The Mirror Line promises to be walkable city, with no cars and zero carbon emissions.

BiodiverCity, Malaysia

BiodiverCity, Malaysia. Photo: BIG

Designers: Bjarke Ingels Group

Location: Penang Island, Malaysia

BiodiverCity is a planned sustainable city made of three artificial islands built off the shore of Penang Island in Malaysia.

A city where people and nature co-exist, each of BiodiverCity’s lily pad-shaped islands will be home to between 15,000 and 18,000 residents. Structures in the city will be built using natural materials such as timber, bamboo and concrete created from recycled materials.

The city is also planned to be a global travel destination with 4.6km of public beaches and 600 acres of parks along with a 25km waterfront. BiodiverCity will also be a car-free environment, where pedestrians can use the planned autonomous water, air and land public transportation network.

Chengdu Future City, China

Chengdu Future City, China. Photo: OMA

Designers: OMA

Location: China

China’s planned Chengdu Future City is challenging conventions of urban planning by proposing a master plan not based on traditional, car-oriented road networks.

The six distinct zones of the city will be connected though a smart mobility network using automated vehicles. The zones will also be pedestrian-friendly and within a 10-minute walk of each other.

The 4.6-square-kilometre site also includes an international education park where buildings, including a university, will have landscaped terraces, designed to be an extension of the natural formed landscape.

Akon City, Senegal

Akon City, Senegal. Photo: Akon City

Designers: Bakri & Associates Development Consultants

Location: Senegal

Akon City is a planned 2,000-acre futuristic city that will be located along the Atlantic coast, in south of Dakar, Senegal.

Conceived and launched by singer and entrepreneur Akon, the smart city will be eco-friendly and powered by renewable energy. Described by Akon as a “real-life Wakanda”, a reference to the film Black Panther that inspired him, Akon City is set to have large skyscrapers, shopping malls, parks, universities, a stadium and a technology hub.

Akon City’s goal is to stimulate the local economy and create jobs while using the latest technologies of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Telosa, the US

Telosa, USA. Photo: Telosa

Designers: Bjarke Ingels

Location: The US

Announced in September 2021, Telosa is a proposed city conceived by billionaire Marc Lore, to be built somewhere in the US western desert.

With a planned population of five million people by 2050, Telosa will be a “15-minute city” where all amenities from schools, workplaces and goods and services will be a 15-minute commute from residents’ homes.

Lore hopes Telosa will be the most sustainable city in the world where no vehicles powered by fossil fuels will be permitted. His vision also includes a reformed version of capitalism where wealth is created in a fair way, keeping residents’ quality of life as a priority.

Woven City, Japan

Woven City, Japan. Photo: Woven City

Designers: Bjarke Ingels Group

Location: Japan

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has already started construction on a 175-acre smart city at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan.

Woven City will be one of the world’s first smart cities: a fully autonomous community designed to test new technologies such as automated driving, robotics and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment.

The city will be fully sustainable, powered by hydrogen fuel cells where pedestrian streets will intersect with those dedicated to self-driving cars. Wood will be the primary material for building to reduce carbon footprint and rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power.

Over the next five years, there will be a starting population of 360 residents with plans to grow the number of residents over the coming years. Initially they will be inventors, senior citizens and young families who will test and develop smart technologies.

New Administrative Capital, Egypt

A rendering of Iconic Tower. The Capital Business District (CBD) being built in Cairo’s New Administrative Capital. The 20 skyscrapers in the district include the 385-metre Iconic Tower, which will be the tallest building in Africa. Photo: Dar Al-Handasah

Designers: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Location: Egypt

Capital City is part of a larger initiative for Egypt’s 2030 Vision. The yet-to-be-named new capital city, located 45 kilometres east of Cairo, will be home to up to seven million people.

The privately funded project will cover 700 square kilometres and include 21 residential districts and 25 dedicated districts, 1,250 mosques and churches, solar energy farms and one of the world’s largest urban parks.

The Cairo Light Rail Transit, inaugurated last month, will connect Cairo to the New Administrative Capital. One of the main drivers for the construction was to ease congestion in Cairo, which has a population of more than 10 million people and is continuing to grow.

Liberland, the metaverse

Liberland Metaverse by Zaha Hadid. Photo: Metaverse

Designers: Zaha Hadid

Location: The metaverse

As the metaverse continues to inform how we could interact and occupy the digital realm, it’s also challenging how we view the idea of cities and nations.

British architecture firm Zaha Hadid, in collaboration with the micronation of Liberland and ArchAgenda, is creating a “cyber-urban” city in the metaverse named Liberland Metaverse.

The completely virtual city is based on the Free Republic of Liberland — a micronation claimed by Czech politician Vit Jedlicka, which exists in the disputed land between Croatia and Serbia.

Liberland Metaverse will act as a virtual industry synergy and networking hub for crypto projects, crypto companies and crypto events. People will be able to buy plots of land with cryptocurrency and enter digital buildings as avatars.

Floating City, Maldives

Designers: Waterstudio

Location: Maldives

One of the first floating cities in the world is being built in the Maldives in response to rising sea levels. With climate change threatening to change many cities around the world, 80 per cent of the Maldives is expected to be uninhabitable by 2050.

Maldives Floating City is currently being designed to home 20,000 people as soon as 2024.

The project is being designed to be climate resistant and work with the rising sea levels. The eco-friendly development will include 5,000 low-rise floating homes built on hexagonal structures that rise with the sea.

Amaravati, India

A rendering of Amaravati, India. Photo: Foster + Partners

Designers: Foster + Partners

Location: India

The city of Amaravati will be the new administrative capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in south-eastern India.

Situated on the banks of the River Krishna, Amaravati’s structure will be defined by a strong urban grid inspired by Lutyens’ Delhi and Central Park in New York.

Greenery and water will make up at least 60 per cent of the city with the aim of making Amaravati one of the most sustainable cities in the world, complete with the latest technologies such as conversion of light into electricity through the use of photovoltaics.

The transportation will include electric vehicles, water taxis and dedicated cycle routes with numerous pedestrian-friendly routes such as shaded streets and squares.

Nusantara, Indonesia

Nusantara, the new capital in Indonesia. Photo: Urbanplus

Designers: Urban + practice

Location: Indonesia

Indonesia plans to move its capital Jakarta to East Kalimantan, between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara on the Indonesian part of Borneo island.

Nusantara, the new capital, is planned to be a sustainable city where high-rise structures will utilise 100 per cent eco-friendly construction and use entirely renewable energy. However, environmental groups have been vocal about how Nusantara’s construction could cause damage to one of the world’s oldest rainforests.

The cost of moving the capital is estimated to cost $35 billion and is seen as a necessary step for Indonesia’s future. Building Nusantara will help with the economic growth of Indonesia and ease pressures on Jakarta, which suffers from continuous traffic jams and issues with pollution owing to a population of more than 10 million people.

Net City, China

Net City, China. Photo: NBBJ

Designers: NBBJ Design Firm

Location: China

China’s answer to Google, technology firm Tencent is building a city. The 22-million-square-foot urban development named Net City will be built on reclaimed land and will be designed to accommodate a population of 80,000 people.

The planned layout of Net City is designed to reduce traffic by including roads for buses, bikes and automated vehicles.

Net City is planned to be sustainable with rooftop solar panels and advanced technological systems for reusing wastewater.

Ten futuristic cities set to be built around the world

By Nat Barker

As a 170-kilometre-long mirrored megacity in the Saudi desert makes headlines, here is a roundup of 10 futuristic cities currently being planned across the globe.
Global issues such as the housing crisis and climate change are galvanising ambitions for a new generation of high-tech cities.The Line, a 500-metre-tall skyscraper that will house nine million people in northwestern Saudi Arabia, as shown in this video, is the most recent example but not the only one.

BIGFoster + Partners and OMA are among multiple architecture studios helping to masterplan futuristic urban centres, which often claim to be designed with a focus on sustainability.

Below are 10 ambitious cities set to be built in the coming decades:

The Line in Saudi Arabia
Image courtesy of Neom

The Line, Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian government this week unveiled visuals for a 170-kilometre-long, 500-metre-tall linear city planned as part of the Neom mega-development.

Despite its length and expected population of nine million, The Line will be just 200 metres wide with a transport system promised to connect the two ends within 20 minutes.

The city was designed as an alternative to the traditional circular urban layout, with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman touting it as “a model for nature preservation and enhanced human livability”.


Telosa city
Image courtesy of BIG

Telosa, USA, designed by BIG

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and his studio BIG are master planning Telosa, a city for five million set to be built from scratch on an as-yet undisclosed site in the US desert.

The project is the idea of billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore, who hopes it will become “the most sustainable city in the world”.

Part of Lore’s vision is that the land will be owned by a community endowment, meaning increases in value could fund the city’s development with resident welfare as the priority.

BiodiverCity masterplan by BIG for Penang Island
Image courtesy of BIG

BiodiverCity, Malaysia, designed by BIG

BIG is also master planning BiodiverCity, a 1,821-hectare development of three artificial islands built off the shore of Malaysia’s Penang Island for the state government.

Each lily-pad-like island is expected to house 15,000 to 18,000 residents and be connected by an autonomous transport network with no cars.

Buildings will be mainly constructed using a combination of bamboo, timber and concrete produced from recycled materials, with an ecological buffer around each district to support biodiversity.

Capital Cairo by SOM
Image courtesy of SOM

New Administrative Capital, Egypt, designed by SOM

Egypt is building an entirely new capital city for up to seven million people in order to relieve congestion in rapidly growing Cairo, its current capital.

Architecture firm SOM produced a masterplan for the privately funded project, which will cover 700 square kilometres and feature one of the world’s largest urban parks.

Indonesia’s government has also announced major plans to build a new capital city on the island of Borneo. Its existing capital Jakarta is the world’s fastest-sinking city, having sunk by 2.5 metres in the 10 years to 2019.

Foster + Partners Amaravati Masterplan
Image courtesy of Foster + Partners

Amaravati, India, designed by Foster + Partners

Set on the banks of the River Krishna, the city of Amaravati will act as the new capital for the Andhra Pradesh state in India.

It will be arranged around a needle-topped government building and see more than 60 per cent of its central district occupied by greenery or water.

“The design brings together our decades-long research into sustainable cities, incorporating the latest technologies that are currently being developed in India,” said Foster + Partners, which is also master planning large neighbourhoods in Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok.

Smart Forest City in Mexico by Stefano Boeri
Image courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

Smart Forest City, Mexico, designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti

Italian architect Stefano Boeri is working on plans for a forested smart city near Cancun that will contain 7.5 million carbon-absorbing plants and trees across its 557 hectares.

It will be designed to house 130,000 people in affordable, plant-covered homes and aims to pioneer a more sustainable way of city living.

“Smart Forest City Cancun is a botanical garden within a contemporary city, based on Mayan heritage and in its relationship with the natural and sacred world,” said Boeri’s studio. “An urban ecosystem where nature and city are intertwined and act as one organism.”

The Orbit by Partisans
Image is by Norm Li

The Orbit, Canada, designed by Partisans

The Orbit is another planned smart city, intended to transform a Canadian farming town through extensive use of fibre optics, drones and autonomous vehicles, with development decisions based on big data.

Toronto firm Partisans has described its design as a modern version of the garden city movement that emerged in the UK in the early 20th century.

It aims to balance new technologies with the existing agrarian setting while growing the town from 30,000 to 150,000 residents.

Maldives Floating City render from above
Image courtesy of Waterstudio/Dutch Docklands Maldives

Maldives Floating City, Maldives, designed by Waterstudio

Rising sea levels due to climate change mean much of The Maldives is expected to be uninhabitable by 2050. In response, the country’s government has partnered with architecture practice Waterstudio to design a floating city that will house 20,000 people in a lagoon near its capital as soon as 2024.

Billed by the architects as “the world’s first true floating island city”, it will include 5,000 low-rise floating homes and be built on a series of hexagonal structures that rise with the sea.

Another prototype climate-resilient floating city is being designed by Danish studio BIG together with Samoo and tech company Oceanix for the seas off Busan in South Korea.

Find out more about Maldives Floating City ›

A cluster of green-roofed buildings within a masterplan by OMA
Image courtesy of OMA

Chengdu Future City, China, designed by OMA

Dutch architecture firm OMA has produced a car-free masterplan for the capital of China’s Sichuan province that it claims challenges conventional urban planning models that are driven by road networks or maximising gross floor area.

Set to occupy a 4.6 square kilometre site, Chengdu Future City will instead focus on the land’s rolling topography, with six distinct zones designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape.

All buildings within each zone will be accessible by foot within 10 minutes, while a “smart mobility network” utilising automated vehicles will connect the city to the rest of Chengdu.

Innovation Park by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture 
Image courtesy of Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture

Innovation Park, USA, designed by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture

Cryptocurrency magnate Jeffrey Berns plans to develop part of Nevada‘s desert into a smart city powered by blockchain technology.

With the help of architecture studios Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture, he intends to transform the 27,113-hectare plot into a community where people can bank, vote and store data without involvement from governments or third parties.

click here for source website

click here for the project

Maldives Floating City reinvents living in a water world

By Laura Cowan
A circular area filled with a floating city within

This design was in line with the concept of living with nature and learning to improve and respect natural coral. Furthermore, Maldives is the global center for coral protection.

A rendering of seating area amidst palm trees

Therefore, the housing are “scarless developments” because of their attempt to not damage the environment on which they are built. Sustainability of the new community is also a top priority, with the developers finding new methods to “interact in a durable way with our surroundings.”

In specific focus here is how to increase sustainability using water. Maldives Floating City is a development of Dutch Docklands in partnership with the Government of Maldives. Masterplan architect for the project was Waterstudio from the Netherlands. The location: a lagoon close to the capital Male and the International Airport at over 500 acres in size.

Boats docks at a harbor

Additionally, the city is mixed use, with residential, hotels, shopping and restaurants located within the grid. Sales will start soon, and expressions of interest can be made on the city’s website. Most importantly, this is the first floating city with thousands of houses with full governmental support that allows for legal title deeds for owners. The floating city also offers the possibility to obtain a residence permit with the purchase of a house, which means internationals can live here semi permanently in Maldives.

On the other hand, the design of the homes was inspired by the history of this seafaring nation in the tropics. The city is designed as a boating community, using canals as the main infrastructure for shipping and travel. Land-based travel is restricted to walking, biking and noise-free electric scoots, with no cars allowed.

Colorful houses in a neighborhood rendering

The Maldives Floating City also has green technology, including a smart grid that responds to dynamic demand, weather and climate change. Sustainable development technologies protect the marine ecosystem.

All in all, the city aims to create new habitat for the marine ecosystem it is built on rather than destroying it. New artificial coral banks will be attached to the underside of the city, which can help coral attach and grow naturally. The coral reefs of the lagoon, in turn, act as a natural wave breaker to protect against storm damage.

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

By Hannah Klaiber

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.“

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

By Nathaniel Bahadursingh

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.

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

By Jonathan Ore & Morgan Passi
CBC Radio

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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