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



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.



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.



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.


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