THE UNITED NATIONSThe corridors and meeting rooms here bustled this week with a familiar-sounding mix of sessions, on “policy options for low fertility,” the launch of “The State of Pacific Youth Report,” the “International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.”
But something completely different was going on in conference room 8 on Wednesday, where a glowing blue-and-beige model on a central podium illustrated the theme on the door: “Sustainable Floating Cities.” (See more photos of floating city concepts.)
There, dozens of experts, investors, scientists, and officials—along with a group of students on a video link from Nairobi—explored a new approach to building offshore hubs of habitation, commerce, education, and recreation designed to ease pressures facing coastal cities squeezed between rising populations, rising seas and storm risk, resource limits, and threatened ecosystems.
Bright and dark visions of humanity spreading from land to life offshore have been around for decades, with variants ranging from hopeful—a vaulting pyramid-shaped floating city conceived for Tokyo Bay in the 1960s by R. Buckminster Fuller—to involuntary, as with straggling survivors of a flooded planet building ragtag “atolls” in the dystopian 1995 film Waterworld.
They envision an eventual galaxy of satellite “cities” built where coastal urbanization is hitting limits. They would consist of mass-produced, storm-worthy hexagonal floating modules, towed into position, moored and connected in larger arrays topped by sustainably built housing, workplaces, recreational and religious facilities, and the rest. Ferries and drones would be a tie line to shore. The communities would be sustained as much as possible with local solar and other renewable energy, recirculating water and rainwater, and local food production…. see more
source: national geographic