Amidst looming environmental crisis and rising sea level, a floating city is being made just 10-minute boat ride from Maldives’ Male city in the Indian Ocean.
According to CNN, the city will be designed resembling a brain coral. It will consist of 5,000 floating units including houses, restaurants, shops and schools, with canals running in between.
The first units will be unveiled this month (June), with prices starting at $150,000 for a studio apartment, and going up to $250,000 for a family home.
The developers are expecting residents to begin moving into the island in early 2024, with the whole city due to be completed by 2027.
The Maldives Floating City, developed jointly by the Dutch firm Waterstudio and the Maldives government, aims to house 20,000 people in less than five years.
Notably, this will be the second floating city in world. The first one was announced in April by the United Nations off South Korea’s second-largest city, Busan. Known as Oceanix City, it plans to provide homes for a community of 12,000 people, potentially rising to 100,000, with construction due to start in 2023.
This is “new hope” for the more than half a million people of the Maldives, said Koen Olthuis, founder of Waterstudio, the architecture firm that designed the city.
“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,” he told CNN.
Features of Maldives Floating City includes rainbow-colored homes designed to attract local people. Wide balconies and seafront views are added onto each home. For transportation, residents will get around on boats, or they can walk, cycle or drive electric scooters or buggies.
“Tech is not the problem, but it is the regulatory framework that takes time to adjust,” Olthuis explained.
“Money talks and so this means when authorities understand that the cost of floating development are lower than the cost of destruction of waterfront infrastructure and properties then this next shift in city development will fly.”
(With inputs from agencies)
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