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Climate sustainable future concept  floating cities | Upload General

Sustainable Future Concept: Floating Cities

by: Sharai Hoekema
sustainable future concept  floating cities | Upload

At the current pace, it seems almost unfathomable that we will be able to call a halt to sea levels rising, the result of climate change spinning out of control. As our climate system is shrouded in so many uncertainties and complexities, it is hard to predict to what extent it will occur, but one thing seems to be a certainty - those of us living in coastal regions are in for wet feet.

Sustainable Future Concept: IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), one of the leading authorities on climate change, has made projections that would see our seas rising for up to 90 centimeters before the end of this century. However, many feel that this is a very conservative number, with other research placing the potential rise anywhere between 200 to 270 centimeters this century alone, describing those numbers as ‘potentially plausible.’ 

Sustainable Future: Floating Cities

A consensus seems to have been found in the expectation that for each Celsius degree of temperature rise, an irreversible 230 centimeters rise in sea levels will be triggered. Does this mean that you should be panicking if you happen to live near the shore with less than this to spare between the current sea level and your home? Well, not necessarily, as sea levels will not rise uniformly around the world. Due to tectonic activity and subsidence of land, tides, currents, and storms, it might even drop in some areas. 

Once again, though, it is tough to predict which regions will be hit the hardest. Mother Nature has been giving us a preview of potential consequences, as illustrated by storms in the New York and Houston areas causing excessive flooding. Yet it is hard to pinpoint precisely where you might be ‘safe.’ All the more reason to start preparing, which can be done in one of the following three ways: retreating (moving inland), protecting (by erecting sea walls) - or accommodating (adapting to the new status quo).

Floating City: Oceanix

A great example of accommodating to rising sea levels caused by climate change is the initiative launched by the architecture firm BIG, titled Oceanix City. Their startup Oceanix has secured partnerships with the United Nations and MIT as they aim to launch their prototype of a floating city by 2030. Gorgeous 3D-rendered images show floating platforms of about five acres each, that are securely fixed to the seafloor. On these platforms, communities are built up using sustainable means, with platforms interconnected using walkways. 



     Climate Change: Floating Cities Are A Concept To Survive. 
Oceanix City: New York's Future Floating City

 

As such, it forms a ‘city’ made out of connected artificial islands. Buildings will still give off a distinctly urban feel while being fully green - for example by using timber from sustainably grown forests. Furthermore, there will be plenty of space allocated to vertical farms, underwater gardens, and greenhouses to provide a steady food supply for those living on it.

Similarly, power is mostly generated from renewable sources like wind and solar. Drinking water is derived straight from the sea and runs through desalination plants, and highly effective sewage and the waste-recycling system will be in place. While it can be used as an extension of a coastal city - adding a new neighborhood on the water -, it could theoretically also function as a thriving, self-sustaining metropolis.

Oceanix: Philosophy Of Floating Cities 

The idea surely is not new, with architects and city developers having touted similar thoughts in the past. One notable example is the American inventor Buckminster Fuller, who already envisioned a town of 5,000 inhabitants near Tokyo back in the 1960s. While ambitious, it had done little but fueled the fantasy of science-fiction writers around the world. 

Yet the refined way in which Oceanix has presented her vision has drawn the attention of many and serves as inspiration for more creative thinking and developing in this area. After all, the concept may have to grow up a lot faster than we would want it to. Another start-up, Singaporean company Blue Frontiers, has accepted this challenge as well - and is well underway to build the first actual floating village.

Recommended: Floating City: A Sci-Fi Trope Or A Salvation For Many Nations?

Sustainable Present: Floating Village In Tahiti

Recently, they signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of French Polynesia, which would allow them to build a floating village in a Tahitian lagoon - with construction slated to begin next year. It will be the ideal testing ground for technologies aiding floating cities and set in motion a - hopefully steep - learning curve when it comes to letting communities live on the water.

At the same time, there will be some 300 people working and living in this floating village, measuring roughly 7,500 square meters. They will occupy themselves with the construction and operation of bungalows, apartments, research institutions, underwater restaurants, and facilities for new aquatic industries like wave power generation and seaweed farming.

This will all undoubtedly make it both a hotspot for eco-tourism and a testing ground for sustainable initiatives. This combination has ultimately convinced the French Polynesian government to give it a shot. The project’s architect has described his vision as perfectly blending in with its surroundings, making it closely resemble a natural island. Roofs will be made up of gardens and walls cladded with local products like coconut wood. 

The goal is not to come up with something revolutionary and futuristic looking, but rather honor the ecosystem in which the community will have to live. Ultimately, it will even serve as a means of restoring natural ecosystems, including animal and plant species. 

Recommended: Smart Sustainable Lifestyle Changing Tips & Tricks For 2019

Rising Sea Levels: Sustainable Floating Cities

This last part hits it out of the park and is the perfect representation of what we mean when we talk about ‘accommodating’ rising sea levels. No fancy installations, walls, or communities that look as if they have been removed from the set of a sci-fi movie. No war-like efforts to combat our climate and the sea, as if they are the enemies that should be kept out of our lives at all costs. No, just plain and simple ways of ‘returning to our roots,’ in a way, and finding sustainable ways of surviving by using our natural environment - not by fighting it. 

 

Before you go!

Recommended: Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope?

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

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Lee Keiser - 50 WEEKS AGO
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Ha! I love it because it looks conceptually and stylistically identical to a project i did during my MLA at UCD.
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Sustainable Future Concept: Floating Cities

At the current pace, it seems almost unfathomable that we will be able to call a halt to sea levels rising, the result of climate change spinning out of control. As our climate system is shrouded in so many uncertainties and complexities, it is hard to predict to what extent it will occur, but one thing seems to be a certainty - those of us living in coastal regions are in for wet feet. Sustainable Future Concept: IPCC The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), one of the leading authorities on climate change, has made projections that would see our seas rising for up to 90 centimeters before the end of this century. However, many feel that this is a very conservative number, with other research placing the potential rise anywhere between 200 to 270 centimeters this century alone, describing those numbers as ‘potentially plausible.’   Sustainable Future: Floating Cities A consensus seems to have been found in the expectation that for each Celsius degree of temperature rise, an irreversible 230 centimeters rise in sea levels will be triggered. Does this mean that you should be panicking if you happen to live near the shore with less than this to spare between the current sea level and your home? Well, not necessarily, as sea levels will not rise uniformly around the world. Due to tectonic activity and subsidence of land, tides, currents, and storms, it might even drop in some areas.   Once again, though, it is tough to predict which regions will be hit the hardest. Mother Nature has been giving us a preview of potential consequences, as illustrated by storms in the New York and Houston areas causing excessive flooding. Yet it is hard to pinpoint precisely where you might be ‘safe.’ All the more reason to start preparing, which can be done in one of the following three ways: retreating (moving inland), protecting (by erecting sea walls) - or accommodating (adapting to the new status quo). Floating City: Oceanix A great example of accommodating to rising sea levels caused by climate change is the initiative launched by the architecture firm BIG, titled Oceanix City. Their startup Oceanix has secured partnerships with the United Nations and MIT as they aim to launch their prototype of a floating city by 2030. Gorgeous 3D-rendered images show floating platforms of about five acres each, that are securely fixed to the seafloor. On these platforms, communities are built up using sustainable means, with platforms interconnected using walkways.   {youtube}      Climate Change: Floating Cities Are A Concept To Survive.  Oceanix City: New York's Future Floating City   As such, it forms a ‘city’ made out of connected artificial islands. Buildings will still give off a distinctly urban feel while being fully green - for example by using timber from sustainably grown forests. Furthermore, there will be plenty of space allocated to vertical farms, underwater gardens, and greenhouses to provide a steady food supply for those living on it. Similarly, power is mostly generated from renewable sources like wind and solar. Drinking water is derived straight from the sea and runs through desalination plants, and highly effective sewage and the waste-recycling system will be in place. While it can be used as an extension of a coastal city - adding a new neighborhood on the water -, it could theoretically also function as a thriving, self-sustaining metropolis. Oceanix: P hilosophy Of Floating Cities  The idea surely is not new, with architects and city developers having touted similar thoughts in the past. One notable example is the American inventor Buckminster Fuller, who already envisioned a town of 5,000 inhabitants near Tokyo back in the 1960s. While ambitious, it had done little but fueled the fantasy of science-fiction writers around the world.   Yet the refined way in which Oceanix has presented her vision has drawn the attention of many and serves as inspiration for more creative thinking and developing in this area. After all, the concept may have to grow up a lot faster than we would want it to. Another start-up, Singaporean company Blue Frontiers, has accepted this challenge as well - and is well underway to build the first actual floating village. Recommended:  Floating City: A Sci-Fi Trope Or A Salvation For Many Nations? Sustainable Present: Floating Village In Tahiti Recently, they signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of French Polynesia, which would allow them to build a floating village in a Tahitian lagoon - with construction slated to begin next year. It will be the ideal testing ground for technologies aiding floating cities and set in motion a - hopefully steep - learning curve when it comes to letting communities live on the water. At the same time, there will be some 300 people working and living in this floating village, measuring roughly 7,500 square meters. They will occupy themselves with the construction and operation of bungalows, apartments, research institutions, underwater restaurants, and facilities for new aquatic industries like wave power generation and seaweed farming. This will all undoubtedly make it both a hotspot for eco-tourism and a testing ground for sustainable initiatives. This combination has ultimately convinced the French Polynesian government to give it a shot. The project’s architect has described his vision as perfectly blending in with its surroundings, making it closely resemble a natural island. Roofs will be made up of gardens and walls cladded with local products like coconut wood.   The goal is not to come up with something revolutionary and futuristic looking, but rather honor the ecosystem in which the community will have to live. Ultimately, it will even serve as a means of restoring natural ecosystems, including animal and plant species.   Recommended:  Smart Sustainable Lifestyle Changing Tips & Tricks For 2019 Rising Sea Levels: Sustainable Floating Cities This last part hits it out of the park and is the perfect representation of what we mean when we talk about ‘accommodating’ rising sea levels. No fancy installations, walls, or communities that look as if they have been removed from the set of a sci-fi movie. No war-like efforts to combat our climate and the sea, as if they are the enemies that should be kept out of our lives at all costs. No, just plain and simple ways of ‘returning to our roots,’ in a way, and finding sustainable ways of surviving by using our natural environment - not by fighting it.     Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about the effect of climate change in your neighborhood? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
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