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Maldives Plans to Build the World’s First Fully Floating Island City

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  • It’s predicted that the Maldives will eventually disappear below the rising waters in the future due to climate change.
  • The entire city will be around 200 hectares or about three-quarters of a square mile. It will have low-slung residential buildings and commercial amenities that will be constructed on separate structures.
  • The end result will be a floating city with thousands of homes, lots of commercial space, as well as a school and hospital that will benefit the locals.

Because of climate change that causes sea levels to rise continuously, it’s predicted that the island republic of Maldives will eventually disappear below the rising waters in the future. So this is probably why its government is planning to build a floating city that’s supposed to be the first of its kind.

Maldives is “arguably the lowest-lying country in the world,” according to NASA. The republic has an average elevation of just 3.3 feet above sea level. If the predictions are right, this nation in the northern Indian Ocean will have to reply on sustainable housing for its inhabitants to survive.

Aptly called the Maldives Floating City (MFC), it will be built in a lagoon just minutes from the capital Male. The city concept was designed by the Netherlands-based Dutch Docklands, called as the global leader in floating infrastructure. MFC’s design is a series of honeycomb-like hexagonal maze rows, which supposedly resembles coral.

How is this system of floating rows going to be stabilized, you ask. It will be anchored to a ring of islands that will form the base. There is also going to be a stabilizing breaker wall, which is the main reason why the floating island city will be placed in a small lagoon.

“While MFC floats up top, island barriers around the lagoon will serve as breakers down below. This ingenious configuration lessens the impact of lagoon waves while stabilizing the structures and complexes on the surface,” says the press release.

The entire city will be around 200 hectares or about three-quarters of a square mile. It will have low-slung residential buildings and commercial amenities that will be constructed on separate structures. The complex is inspired by the seafaring culture and local architecture in the Maldives in the past.

The hexagonal coral clusters will hold thousands of homes, each with a starting price of $250,000 for about 1,000 square feet, and includes a roof terrace. The designers also said that their goal is to have local traditional fishing families live in the floating city. The price tag may not be realistic for most of these families, so perhaps they may come up with subsidized housing.

Now there are already traditional floating cities scattered around the world, but this one in the Maldives is unique in the sense that it’s going to be the first that will combine housing and other structures. It will be surrounded by a barrier lagoon and will have a wide array of amenities.

The project is aimed to start in 2022. The end result will be a floating city with thousands of homes, lots of commercial space, as well as a school and hospital that will benefit the locals. It’s likely that the city will have a modular connection that can be extended as the sea level rises for more stability.

With a project like this in the works, perhaps other island nations just like the Maldives, such as Micronesia and Nauru, will follow suit in order to preserve their territories from the threat of climate change.

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