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Old Posted Mar 18, 2014, 5:04 PM
M II A II R II K's Avatar
M II A II R II K M II A II R II K is offline
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Has the time come for floating cities?

Has the time come for floating cities?

18 March 2014

By Jessa Gamble

Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/20...utopian-sci-fi


It may seem like science fiction, but as rising sea levels threaten low-lying nations around the world, neighbourhoods like this may become more common. Whereas some coastal cities will double down on sea defences, others are beginning to explore a solution that welcomes approaching tides. What if our cities themselves were to take to the seas?

- A floating village at London's Royal Docks has the official nod, and Rotterdam has a Rijnhaven waterfront development experiment well under way. Eventually, whole neighbourhoods of water-threatened land could be given over to the seas. After decades of speculation and small-scale applications, the floating solution is finally enjoying political momentum – and serious investment.

- The immediate and most numerous victims of climate change are sure to be in the developing world. In Lagos, the sprawling slum of Makoko regularly suffers floods, and its stilted houses are shored up with each new inundation. It's under threat of razing by authorities. --- The Nigerian-born architect Kunlé Adeyemi proposes a series of A-frame floating houses to replace the existing slum. As proof of concept, his team constructed a floating school for the community. Still, many buildings do not make a city: infrastructure remains a problem here. One solution would be to use docking stations with centralised services, rather like hooking up a caravan to power, water and drainage lines at a campground.

- You could extend an existing city like London into the water quite far before ever being seriously challenged by infrastructure issues. But some ideas for floating life move well beyond the urban extension model. In the 1960s, futurist Buckminster Fuller designed a floating city, Triton, for 100,000 residents, and even had his plans approved by the US Navy. UK designer Phil Pauley has updated Fuller's geodesic concept: a ring of spherical modules, his SubBiosphere2 would float in fair weather, then submerge whenever the seas became rough.

- Florida architect Jacque Fresco, meanwhile, foresees a time when humans must colonise the sea, to escape land made uninhabitable by overpopulation. He has spent his career designing cities of the future, and himself lives in a dome-shaped prototype. Fresco's floating city designs – generally gear-shaped – prescribe the use of "memory metals". Compressed into small cubes, they are easily towed out to sea, where they can be snapped back to the size of buildings.

- The Seasteading Institute, founded by Patri Friedman (grandson of Milton), proposes a series of floating villages, and claims to be in active negotiations with potential host nations that would give the villages political autonomy. Billed as a startup incubator for political systems, the aquatic communities would serve as experiments in governance – and represent a rejection of what Seasteaders see as big government intrusion. --- In an implementation plan for these Seasteading cities, the Dutch engineering firm DeltaSync has proposed a modular building strategy. It too would have movable parts, for gradual growth and financing, and a dynamic geography: if new friends decide to be neighbours, they could simply tow their houses together.

- As for infrastructure solutions, they range from the well-tested to the speculative. The abundant wind available at sea could power turbines. Ocean thermal energy conversion could harness the temperature difference between the surface and the depths – a process that also provides fresh water as a byproduct. DeltaSync even envisions residents cultivating aquaculture in lieu of gardens, manufacturing their food requirements from nutrients found in upwellings at the edge of continental shelves. A so-called "Blue Revolution" in aquaculture would be required for the oceans to provide this level of sustenance. (Even without cities at sea, though, ocean harvesting may be our best hope, as land-based agriculture faces salinated soils and a critical phosphorus shortage.)

- A full-service floating city already exists for residents of The World, a 644-foot yacht that continuously circles the planet. Launched in 2002, the ship contains 165 condominium spaces that sell for millions. --- And it may soon be upstaged. Freedom Ship would essentially be a mile-long flat-bottomed barge with a high-rise building on top. Weighing 3 million tonnes and with a top speed of 10 knots, the floating city would circle the globe every three years, stopping 12 miles offshore at each port for a week at a time. --- High-speed ferries would connect the 40,000 residents and 20,000 crew to the mainland and bring back visitors. "We won't just be visiting those countries," says Freedom Ship director and executive vice president Roger Gooch. "We anticipate those countries visiting us."


The Seasteading Institute proposes a series of floating villages – and claims to be in active negotiations with potential host nations. Photograph: Seasteading Institute

Grocery store in Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria. Photograph: Devesh Uba

Sub-Biosphere 2 is a closed, self-sustaining underwater habitat designed by Phil Pauley

Credibility problem? … the perpetually sailing Freedom Ship would have enough room for 50,000 permanent residents. Photograph: Roger Gooch-FSI

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Old Posted Mar 18, 2014, 11:41 PM
Alpha Alpha is offline
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What about bad weather and freak waves?

Is it not more expensive to maintain a dwelling of same size on a ship than on land?
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2014, 2:39 AM
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Tyler Xyroadia Tyler Xyroadia is offline
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Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
What about bad weather and freak waves?

Is it not more expensive to maintain a dwelling of same size on a ship than on land?
In answer to the first question.. The "Time" for floating cities has been around for ages...
the TECHNOLOGY for them however has become efficiently only within the last decade...

As for the above question, given the SIZE of the cities that would be built, such things would NOT be an issue.
"God damn modern architect's and their Brtualism, and 'realism' and damn concrete boxes. Why I remember back when buildings had STYLE back when you would have real ARTISTS working away both inside and out!
"Um, aren't you like barely 30?"
"Thats not the point you damn whipper snapper!"
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2014, 6:18 PM
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lulyrib lulyrib is offline
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Very interesting!
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