Un-Habitat, a United Nations Group that promotes socially and environmentally sustainable communities, discussed the possibility of building a self-sustaining, floating city sometime in the near future.
According to a HuffPost article, a new development company, Oceanix, launched this vision for a “city on water.” The nonprofit company is currently partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Bjarke Ingels of the Danish architectural firm BIG, to come up with a prototype.
The company said the city would be anchored to the seabed by biorock, currently used to grow artificial reefs. The infrastructure plan would also allow for the collection of rainwater and de-salinate sea water. Residents would also be able to grow and catch their own food.
The design is inspired by aquatic life, with lily pad-like landmarks and rich greenery surrounding its residents. According to the article, the city would sustain about 10,000 people.
According to the article, advocates of these water-based communities believe they are an innovative solution to sea-level rise. To the opposition, more effective climate change preparation should be completed in existing cities instead. Other experts say these ideas don’t address the underlying causes of climate change. Floating cities could also present environmental challenges.
“We need to work intensely on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce the damage that will happen, and on preparing our cities for damage that will occur regardless of our best efforts,” Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told the HuffPost.