Maldives is building a floating city to adapt to climate change

With more than 80 percent of the country’s land area lying less than one meter above sea level, Maldives is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The archipelago, hosting 25 low-lying atolls in the Indian Ocean, is also the lowest-lying nation in the world — which means that rising sea levels are truly an existential threat to the island nation.

An innovative development, called 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.

Sustainable design

Designed by Netherlands-based Dutch Docklands and developed together with the Maldives government, the “island city” will stretch across a 200-hectare, warm-water lagoon just 10 minutes by boat from the capital Male.

As part of the project, Dutch Docklands worked with urban planning and architecture firm Waterstudio to create a water-based, adaptive urban grid built to evolve with the country’s changing needs.

The distinctive geometry of the local coral reefs has inspired the hexagon-shaped floating segments making up the floating development. The segments, in turn, are connected to a ring of barrier islands, which act as a buffer designated to tame the impact of lagoon waves and stabilize structures on the surface. A network of bridges, canals, and docks will connect the various segments, consisting of homes, shops, and services, across the lagoon.

Affordable homes

The floating city’s sustainable design goes beyond its climate-adaptive features, with renewable energy powering the city through a smart grid. What’s more, the homes will be priced from $250,000 in a bid to attract a wide range of buyers, including local fishermen who have been living in the area for centuries. Construction is expected to kick off in 2022 and reach completion over the next five years.

Image source: Maldives Floating City

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