“We need the tonic of wildness ... At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” — Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
Are we lacking real-estate or are we overwhelmed with unwavering ambition for creating the seemingly impossible dream of ever floating islands and the cities that dwell upon them?
From a simple light tower abandoned at sea and the fascinating Palm of Dubai to urban gardens and ancient cities of breathtaking Venice, the world continues to be living by example of what is and certainly could be and all for the taking.
Don’t forget, that although there is a need, at least in most cases, to have floating habitats it’s not just for the numbers calling for that extraordinary exotic vacation or mansion on the beach front but most officials are ecstatic of creating the ideal oasis.
This type of oasis is usually set or can be well planned for an amazing result bearing in mind that such an event can actually bring any city hundreds even thousands of jobs as never before. This is with the presents of a ground breaking ecological and sustainable environment.
With this delicately designed floating megalopolis, organic food growth and energy building devices are most quaint and in tuned with our future. However, not every design is in the making for our environment. Not to say that it won’t be inadvertently. Take the amazing Palm Jumeirah, a manmade archipelago, the smallest of three palms in Dubai (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira) along with numerous projects built uponthe same shoreline, for instance. The 520 kilometres increased shoreline stemmed from passionate determination creating islands with boulders and tons of rainbow-arc sand just to build the foundation. The preparation and plans it took to create such an organic ideal of architecture may not have been so eco-friendly, however, it is said that Dubai is taking reasonable steps to conserve, recycle and sustain in various ways more than ever.
Speaking of resources for the utmost sustainability our environment deserves, floating island treatment wetlands. Since 2006, there are over 5000 floating island projects of various kinds throughout the world. Each have a unique purpose from shoreline stabilization to habitat creation.
After all, there are a good variety of applications for floating technology; more specifically in waste water treatment removing nitrates, phosphates and ammonia; storm water run-off and nutrient spiking as well as lake restoration for mining and mitigation to name a few.
These floating islands are developed mostly with peet moss upholding perennials and grass on virtually a mass of earth supported by pvc piped frames and cables. The matrix is made of recycled plastic drinking bottles, polyurethane and marine foam provided for its buoyancy. Bacteria grows on the roots of the plants sustained on these islands and begin to clean the water of nutrients, solids and some metals.
More of these projects are playing their exceptional eco-friendly role with such forward engineering. Research to reckon with.
And who could forget actual floating cities for centuries such as Venice herself be anything but elegant even in her submerged stance with endlessodds on the risk of increased flooding. Wood piles of alder and stakes were placed from the beginning of the 16th century along with platforms of Kirmenjak stone or Pietrad’Istria to protect and uphold all the marble architecture of churches, palaces and baroque style buildings within these 118 small islands that Venice embodies. As many wooden stakes play a major role in the upright support of these lovely architectural masterpieces, it may seem odd that organic material such as wood doesn’t rot in all its submerged state. Because it isn’t exposed to oxygen and is constantly absorbs the flow of salt water through and around, it actually hardens into a stone like substance due to the fact that it is petrified in this natural process of the Adriatic sea.
Although the flood gates of the Mose (Modulo SperimentaleElettromeccanico) effect have been relatively hopeful over the last several years, still it is not uncommon to find St Marco Piazza under a siege of water. When the sea is one meter beyond the high-water mark, 79 floodgates are raised and filled with water protecting the lagoon from the Adriatic sea. Once the tide lowers, then the gates lay on the sea bed. It’s also been of concern of the pollutants and sewage not getting trapped within the lagoon causing the water to be stagnant and allowing the water to circulate.
There is always the prospect of using underground injection steam or water which can enhance the city literally raising it. An Alberta, civil engineer, Ron Wong has observed a similar type of lift at approximately 1 foot of permanent deformation. He has stated, “but it only worked here in dense sand”. Fortunately the ground below Venice has similar properties. Therefore, it is feasible.
Take the Seasteading Institute, for example. They are a thriving and highly innovative group and movement based in San Franscisco where they have build their passion through activists, software engineers and political economical theorists, technology entrepreneurs, investors and philanthropists in order to build a sustainable world on water and with water
Using the ocean’s solar power in harmony with cities afloat, Seasteading stands for a greater cause than just water dwellings. They are most mindful of the future and the territories for all that can be safe and viable let alone futuristic.
Between saving our cities and building new real estate even upon the most incredible odds, our future lies in the hands of what deems safe and viable for our future in the most moral and sustainable way imagined.
We are becoming of age to a great new ways of ‘thinking out of the box’ yettaking careful risks but steps that matter and involve the needs of everyone for these floating cities and beyond.