What: Floating towns
Who: Karina Czapiewska, Rutger de Graaf, Bart Roeffen
When: since 2007
Waterbased urban development
The predicted shortages in water, fuel and food show that the need to build floating cities is greater than ever before. The current food crisis demonstrates that agricultural production has difficulty in keeping up with a growing population and prosperity. Agricultural productivity is scarcely growing any more, because the most important raw materials – water, phosphates and fuel – are coming under increasing pressure. It is estimated that during this century increasing population and urbanisation will swallow up almost one fifth of fertile agricultural land. The quantity of agricultural land is thus decreasing, while ever more food needs to be produced.
Food shortages are thus in the first place the result of a lack of space. One solution to this problem is to move part of the population and food production out to sea. Floating food cities also have number of other benefits. Firstly, they can make efficient use of the nutrients released by today’s cities, in order to produce seaweed, algae and fish. This will close the nutrient cycles of today’s cities. Calculations show that less than one thousandth of the sea would be required to convert the global fishing industry into sustainable fish farms (fully supplied by waste nutrients). The rest of the sea can be converted into a nature reserve for fish, so that they might also be saved from the eradication of species, which is currently taking place in our oceans.