The Floating City

It’s not everyday that you see a floating city. Cities usually––well, don’t float. What’s more, we lack the practical means of sending an entire metropolis into the sky and making it stay there. What’s more, such a city would be bad for the birds, some of which are already face-bashing against our windows on the ground. What’s more, there would be no reason for us to try in the first place. What’s more, I should stop using “what’s more” as a transition. But I digress. The bottom line: cities can now float, and Maldives is responsible.

A point of clarification: their floating city doesn’t actually float in the air; they float in the water. The Maldives Floating City, as it’s come to be called, was designed by Netherlands-based architect corporation Dutch Docklands and funded by the government. The city will encompass a 200-hectare warm-water lagoon, only ten minutes from the capital. Dutch Docklands collaborated with urban planning and Waterstudio (another architecture firm) to create “a water-based, adaptive urban grid built to evolve with the country’s changing needs.” The bobbing segments connecting each part of the “island-city” are attached to a ring of barrier islands, which discourage larger waves and maintain structural integrity on the surface.

As for motive, the country is currently facing a major crisis: ever-rising water levels. More than 80% of Maldives lies less than one meter above sea level, and as climate change continues to do its work, their lives are threatening to undergo a most unpleasant change. The Maldives Floating City “aims to mitigate the effects of global warming by building thousands of waterfront residences and services atop a flexible, functional grid.”

The moral of the story? Cities do float, and human ingenuity knows no bounds.

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