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The Maldives reveals plans to build a floating city to combat rising sea levels

The Maldives is partnering with a Dutch multinational company to create a floating city that will accommodate around 20,000 people in the Indian Ocean.

The city is being set up in a turquoise lagoon, just 10 minutes from the capital city Malé. The construction is expected to be completed by 2027.

Dubbed Maldives Floating City, the project has been designed by Waterstudio and is a joint venture between property developer Dutch Docklands and the Government of Maldives.

Features of the Maldives Floating City

Maldives Floating City
Credit: Maldives Floating City

There will be everything including houses, shops, and schools in the city, located within the two sq km area of the lagoon. The design is based on a canal network running between the buildings, which look like hexagonal-shaped floating structures.

According to CNN, residents can start moving into completed sections of the city in early 2024.

The city will be built keeping in mind the pristine marine ecosystem of the archipelago. The developers say that artificial coral banks will be attached to the underside of the city for stimulating natural coral growth.

Prices will start at USD 150,000 for a studio apartment and can go up to USD 250,000 for a family home.

Why is Maldives building a floating city?

Maldives
Credit: Maldives Floating City

The idea behind creating a floating city did not emerge out of vanity, but because of a practical reason that threatens the archipelago and all its people.

Most of the islands of Maldives lie less than one metre above sea level, which means that they will be underwater by the year 2100, when water levels are projected to rise by up to a metre.

However, a floating city can manage to stay largely unaffected as it will rise with the rising water level.

“It can prove that there is affordable housing, large communities, and normal towns on the water that are also safe. They (Maldivians) will go from climate refugees to climate innovators,” Koen Olthuis, founder of Waterstudio, told CNN.

The Maldives Floating City is not the first idea of its kind, though it will most likely be the first to be executed.

In December 2021, the South Korean city of Busan accepted plans to build a floating neighbourhood to house 10,000-12,000 people. The first prototype structure will be 0.063 sq km in area, with at least 20 more units attached to it over time.

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