As rising sea levels threaten low-lying nations around the world, floating cities are gaining political backing and some serious investment.
Floating cities are nothing new. Tens of thousands of boat-dwellers formed a bustling district in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay – but the lack of garbage and sewerage facilities meant that when families were offered public housing on land in the 1980s, most chose this option Matthew Wellings/Alamy.
But the concept of floating cities is back. Rotterdam’s Rijnhaven waterfront development experiment is well under way Leuntje/Alamy.
A floating village in London’s Royal Docks has the official nod Concept design by Studio Egret West/image by AVR.
Much of sprawling Makoko rests on stilts above Lagos Lagoon. Architect Kunlé Adeyemi proposes a series of floating A-frame houses to replace the existing slum, which is under threat of being razed by the authorities Jon Gambrell/AP.
In the 1960s Buckminster Fuller designed a floating city, Triton, for 100,000 residents and even had his plans approved by the US Navy BFI.
UK designer Phil Pauley has updated Fuller’s geodesic concept. A ring of spherical modules, SubBiosphere2 would float in fair weather, then submerge whenever the seas became rough Pauley 2013.
Florida architect Jacque Fresco foresees a time when humans must colonise the sea to escape land made uninhabitable by overpopulation Jacque Fresco/The Venus Project.
The Seasteading Institute claims to be in active negotiations with potential host nations that would give political autonomy to the proposed floating villages Seasteading Institute.
Dutch engineering firm DeltaSync has proposed a modular building strategy for Seasteading cities, with movable parts which would allow for gradual financing and growth Seasteading Institute.
A full-service floating city already exists for residents of The World, a 644-foot yacht that continuously circles the globe. Launched in 2002, the ship contains 165 condominium spaces that sell for millions PR.
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 Roger Gooch/FSI.
High-speed ferries would connect the 40,000 residents and 20,000 crew to the mainland Roger Gooch/FSI.