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Floating City: A Complete Overview and Its Future Implication

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Community

Since 1880, global ocean levels have risen an average of 21-24 centimeters. The rising sea level is proportionate to the melting of glaciers caused by climate change due to the warming of the planet.

When people think of climate change, they mostly deduce that it is a problem for future generations and that right now everything is ok. But some places and residents are already feeling its effects, especially those living near the coast.

People residing in coastal cities are already feeling the heat, destructive floods, and rising sea levels. And the problem is set to get worse. According to research, 60% of the oceanfront communities of the east and gulf coasts of the US will experience chronic flooding by 2100 due to climate change.

Some areas are even facing existential threats, especially small islands, and lowland coasts. Experts reveal that small island states like Tuvalu, Hawaii, Marshall island, Kiribati, and Maldives are at the mercy of the rising sea.

But islands will not be the only ones affected by rising sea levels, the infrastructure of coastal cities home to hundreds of millions of people will be affected. Millions if not billions of people work or live close to oceans.

It is estimated that 37% of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of a coastline. Cities such as Miami, Shanghai, Osaka, Alexandria, and Rio de Janeiro are some of the crowded places at risk of rising sea levels.

Most attempts by leaders, organization, and officials to try to tackle this situation is to build movable barriers, artificial islands, extend coastal areas, or construct massive sea wall. But these approaches are just about throwing rock, concrete, sand, and steel into the oceans which can be destructive.

However, there is a much bolder idea that is self-sustaining and embracing the sea. This idea is to make cities float along with the ocean level. This development is called floating city and is set to limit the damage by rising sea levels.

What is a floating city?

A floating city is a proposed type of island that buoy on water, either in the form of a ship or a permanent structure that could be used as a sustainable community outside of the territorial limits of any country.

A floating city is a concept consisting of a large structure where people live on the surface of the ocean. They are sometimes called seasteads or seaborne cities and have been proposed as a means to solve issues such as rising sea levels, overcrowding, and pollution.

There are multiple designs for floating cities, but they all share the common goal of creating sustainable communities in the middle of the ocean. Most floating city designs involve platforms that float on top of waters and have homes or buildings built onto them.

A float city is permanent and can be a politically autonomous community to be built in international waters. The concept has been explored by several organizations and individuals as a means to implement affordable sustainable communities.

Why do we need floating cities?

The global population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. This will lead to a rise in urbanization and the need for more housing meaning there will be more problems such as overcrowding and pollution which will further exacerbate climate change.

The climate crisis we are facing is due to the planet getting warmer thus changing our weather patterns. During the past century, human activities have been pumping excessive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere than the planet can absorb.

Global warming is melting the world’s glaciers and ice sheets thus increasing ocean levels. It is estimated that the sea level will rise by approximately 25 – 30 centimeters by 2050.

Some estimates reveal that by 2050, the rising seas will engulf more than 570 coastal cities and impact more than 800 million people worldwide resulting in more than USD 1 trillion in damages.

Urban areas are home to more than 56% of the world’s population and most of them are located close to coastal regions. It is forecasted that 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050.

Already floods are causing billions of dollars worth of infrastructure damage and forcing millions of climate refugees away from their homes. Housing the ever-growing population is becoming a challenge for policymakers.

Hence as coastal areas are being sunk and nowhere to expand, a city that floats on water could be the solution. Hence, city floating on water can help curb some of the effects of sea level rise.

Importance of floating city

Floating cities are large structures that will be built on seawater with sustainable technologies that can house up to 12,000 people and potentially rise to 100,000.

The idea of cities floating on water is not new, but they have been gaining traction in recent years due to climate change and the rapid growth of urbanization and overpopulation.

Floating cities concept is simple. The city’s structure is made up of several interconnected platforms that float on the ocean. Each of the platforms has specific purposes and is connected through bridges. Suburbs floating on water are become a reality due to modern technology and engineering progress.

Floating city is becoming important because it has several noteworthy specificities compared to onshore communities. Cities on the sea can operate independently from any other land-based state. They can be built anywhere where there is water and an abundance of resources to build with.

These floating islands offer a unique opportunity for people who want to live in their own country, but don’t want to deal with all the political drama that comes along with it.

They’re touted as a way to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, including water shortages, poverty, corruption, and rising sea levels due to climate change.

Advances in technology have allowed them to become more feasible than ever before. These buoying structures are like suburbs on the sea as they accommodate housing, shopping centers, hospital, school, utilities, hotels, and resorts, and even produce their own food.

Cities floating on water can also be accommodated for recreational activities like swimming pools or boat tours and even as tourist attractions themselves. Floating cities, which have been discussed for decades, could soon be a reality.

A nonprofit organization called the Seasteading Institute is working on designing and building a floatation city in French Polynesia. The project is funded by Peter Thiel, a billionaire investor and venture capitalist who has argued that floating cities would help solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

These ocean cities are claimed to be resilient to natural disasters and house a population that has sustainability in mind and is self-sufficient. These communities would be more environmentally friendly than traditional urban areas.

Floating cities are interconnected platforms where people live near their workplaces and can access basic necessities within a close perimeter which reduces transportation and emissions.

Moreover, cities on the ocean don’t affect marine life as they float on the surface of oceans compare to artificial islands where sand and rock must be extracted from one place and then transported and pour on site.

Transporting sand and rock for artificial island drives up emission and cost as well as destroy the natural ecosystem where the material is being extracted and damage the entire marine ecosystem where it is being poured.

Floatation cities on the other hand are large and immobile, which means that they will not disturb the natural cycles of the ocean. This will allow marine life to thrive around the buoying platform.

In addition, it will create new habitats for marine life, which will improve the overall health of the ocean. Cities floating on water would also depend on renewable sources like solar panels or wind turbines rather than fossil fuels like coal or oil. City planners believe that floating cities can alleviate the housing crisis.

How floating city work

Floatation cities are a novel way of living that is becoming more and more popular. They offer an alternative to living in traditional urban areas and are made up of many interconnected floating platforms that can be moved along with tides.

A floatable city is a platform that is composed of concrete caissons. These caissons are basically empty large watertight chambers. The buoyancy of these chambers allows the structure to float on water.

Those caissons will be tethered to the sea floor with special slack that can rise and fall with varying sea levels. The structure can adapt to increase seawater either by having retractable sea cables or dolphin moorings. 

This approach ensures that the structure always stays in the same place. This specificity also allows the floating structure to have an exact coordinate/address to receive letters and parcels.

The floatation city is aimed to be entirely self-sustaining with the corporation of its residents. The buoying infrastructure encourages citizens to collect and treat wastewater from showering and hand washing.

Floating city concepts will also encourage communal farming systems where some people will grow their produce, and cultivate seafood like oysters and mussels from underwater gardens where excess can be redistributed to the community while others will provide their expertise to the community such as engineers, plumbing, electrician, and many more.

These hovering built-ups aim at creating a community where everybody lives in harmony and collaborates. Moreover, people will get around the city across bridges between platforms using shared electric bikes or by walking and cycling.

The floating city concept is all about minimizing the impact of human activity. The most interesting feature of the concept is beneath the infrastructure called biorock. Biorocks are metal rods with electricity that runs to it.

Biorock is a new type of construction material made from earth, water, and air. The construction material is strong, lightweight, and environmentally friendly. Biorock is also a sustainable construction material because it can be reused and recycled.

It can consolidate the minerals there are in the water and creates a limestone that is a substrate for coral reef growth, redevelopment, and regeneration. The electricity allows the absorption of nutrients thus coral can grow five times faster.

Furthermore, the flexible plug-in and plug-out system of floating cities can enable new ways of city planning where new modules can be added according to demand.

Hence, a floating system that can adapt to waves, tides, and even storms and hurricanes seems to be a good solution to mitigate the threat of sinking coastal cities we are facing today.

Characteristics of floating city

City floating on water is a new type of settlement that is being developed as a new way to live and work. They are built on a series of buoying platforms that are interconnected. Several characteristics make this settlement possible and these are:


Aquaponics is an important part of the floating city concept. It provides a sustainable food supply, eliminates waste, and reduces environmental impact.

Aquaponics uses aquatic animals and plants to create food, and the waste from the fish and plants is used to fertilize the plant. This creates a self-sustaining system that is environmentally friendly.

3D oceanic farm

3D oceanic farms are systems that grow crops in salt water using ebb and flow currents to provide a consistent flow of nutrients and water.

These farms are often able to produce crops at a much lower cost than land-based farming, and they can be placed in areas that are difficult or impossible to access, such as in offshore floating cities.


Aeroponic gardening is a form of agriculture that uses air to plant and grow plants. The plants are suspended in a mist of cold water and air, which supplies them with the nutrients and moisture they need to flourish.

Aeroponic cultivation is an important part of the floating city. It helps to recycle water, generate oxygen, produce food, and provide a habitat for plants.

It also helps to reduce the amount of waste that is produced by the community. Aeroponic cultivation is an efficient and sustainable way to produce food.


Biorock technology is being used in a floating infrastructure with the aim to create a sustainable and autonomous city that can be relocated and adapted to changing conditions.

Biorock technology is a new way of creating sustainable and environmentally friendly infrastructure. It is based on the principle that cold temperatures and pressure can be used to create strong and durable buildings and earthworks.

Biorock will safely anchor the buoying infrastructure to the bottom of the ocean. By applying a current between a steel bar makes seawater minerals precipitate, forming a limestone layer around the bar with similar properties to those of concrete.

This material is durable and binds itself to the ocean bedrock, which makes a very stable mooring point for the floating infrastructure. On top of that, it works as an artificial reef, providing food and shelter for marine life.

Vertical farming

Vertical farming is a process of cultivating plants in a controlled environment, typically on a vertically stacked shelf. It has many potential benefits, including the ability to grow crops more efficiently and sustainably, and the potential to reduce the amount of resources (water and fertilizer) consumed to grow plants.

Vertical farming is a technology that has the potential to improve food security and reduce environmental impact. It has the potential to create self-sufficient ecosystems in floating cities, which could provide a sustainable food source and reduce the need for land.

Wastewater treatment

Floatation cities are a new type of urban development that hover platforms in water to provide a new form of sustainable living. Wastewater treatment in these hovering platforms provides significant environmental benefits such as reducing the release of nutrients and pollutants in the ocean.

The concept is also a great way to solve the world’s water crisis. Floating communities can recycle wastewater and use the treated water for various purposes, including domestic use, irrigation, and even generating electricity.

Shared mobility

Mobility is an essential part of floatable city. It enables people to get around quickly and easily, and it helps to connect different parts of the suburb.

Shared mobility can also help to make it easier for people to get to their destinations. Shared mobility can help to connect different parts of the city and use every transport to its maximum.

Repurposing waste

In a world where resources are becoming increasingly scarce, it is more important than ever to be creative when it comes to recycling.  By repurposing waste in a float city, it can not only help to reduce environmental impact but also create a more sustainable and innovative city overall.

Technology in floating city

Technology is an essential part of life and floating cities will need advanced systems to keep the infrastructure up and running. The technology that keeps these cities of the ocean afloat are:

Solar panel

Solar panels are a very important part of a floatation suburb. Solar power is the most environmentally friendly choice for powering an oceanic suburban due to its negligible emissions. Solar energy is also reliable and efficient, and a floating community can rely on it to generate up to 100% of the city’s energy needs.

Solar panels can be easily mounted on rooftops, the sides of floating platforms, and even let hovering on the surface of the water, and the city can use the power to run its lights and appliances.

Vertical wind turbine

The floating city of the future is powered by vertical wind turbines. These turbines are mounted on hovering platforms and can be used to generate electricity or provide mechanical power.

Vertical wind turbines have many advantages over traditional wind turbines. They are much more efficient and can be placed in areas that are difficult or impossible to access for traditional wind turbines. They also have a lower profile, making them less conspicuous and less likely to interfere with navigation or other activities in the area.

Tidal energy

Tidal energy can also be used to power the city’s systems and provide energy to the citizens. The city’s engineers use tidal to power the infrastructure. Tidal is an amazing source of renewable energy.

It can provide enough power to run a floating city, and it’s environmentally friendly too. Plus, tidal power doesn’t produce any harmful emissions.


Desalination is the process of removing salt from seawater. It is an important process for water supply in floating cities. Desalination is a clean and efficient way to produce drinkable water from the ocean.

Benefits of floating city

Cities floating have a variety of benefits that make them a desirable option for urban development. These benefits include:

Disasters proof

Floating cities are a new and innovative way of living that offers many advantages over traditional city living. They are disaster-proof, can be powered by renewable energy sources, and are self-sufficient.

A float city is a mobile or stationary suburb that hovers on water. It is designed to be sustainable and resilient in the face of natural disasters. The city is not fixed to the ground and its modules can move or float with the flow of water.

These hovering cities can be moved away from natural disasters before they hit, making them much safer than other types of buildings that cannot move.

Climate Change Solution

Floating cities could be the solution to the climate crisis as they can provide a more sustainable way of living than current methods, and could help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced.

This maritime community would rely less on finite resources such as oil and gas which are used for transporting goods across long distances. This means that there would be less carbon emissions produced by the inhabitants which would help combat climate change.

Solution to the housing crisis

Floating cities are a solution to the housing crisis. They are temporary, self-sufficient communities that hover on the ocean. They are designed to be sustainable, with minimal environmental impact.

Use renewable sources

As the world continues to grapple with the issue of climate change, many are looking to find ways to mitigate its effects. Floatation cities will generate their own energy from renewable sources in order to be self-reliant.

Floatable suburbs are not subject to the same restrictions as land-based communities and are not affected by geographical landscapes. This means that they can with the right approach generated energy from wind, sun, and sea.

Does not need big infrastructure

There is no need for large infrastructures such as roads, large bridges, and parking. It will be a small community where every basic necessity can be accessed on foot. The city could also rely on solar, wind, and geothermal power to operate.

Low environmental impact

A floating city has a low environmental impact because it does not use land. It would float on a large body of water, like the ocean. This would reduce the amount of pollution that is created.

People living in these hovering built-up are more environmentally conscious. They use, produce and repurpose resources intelligently. Floating city on the ocean produce their own food and electricity and repurpose waste.


Floating cities are resilient. The design of these cities allows them to float on water and withstand even the most extreme weather conditions. This makes them ideal for areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as coastal areas or islands.

These oceanic cities are also designed with sustainability in mind. They use minimal resources and can generate their own energy. This means that they are not dependent on outside sources for survival, which makes them especially resilient.


Floating city is a project that promotes a circular economy. Float city is a self-sufficient urban environment that is powered by renewable energy. This maritime community is made up of interconnected modules that can be relocated and reconfigured as needed.

These floatable built-ups are designed to be environmentally friendly and economically sustainable. The circular approach is a system that aims to reduce waste and promote reuse and recycling of resources, in order to improve environmental sustainability.

In a circular economy, resources are used and processed until they are no longer needed, and then they are recycled or composted to create new resources.

Solution for land crisis

A city on water could be the solution to the land crisis. The suburb would be built on a series of floatable platforms in the ocean and would be designed to be self-sufficient and provide sustainable living for a growing population.

Floating cities can be built on water and provide a sustainable living for a growing population. The idea of floatable suburban is not new, but it has gained more popularity recently as an alternative to the land crisis that we are facing because of population increase, climate change, and housing.

No need to create artificial land

Floating cities are buoying modules interconnected together to create a community. Since it floats on water there is no need to create an artificial island to build the community.

Building artificial island is a very destructive process as rock and sand have to be extracted from lands and pour into the sea which not only damages lands but also destroy marine ecosystems.

Around 50 billion tonnes of sand and gravel are extracted each year to meet the demand for construction. This is the largest extractive industry on the planet and one of the messiest and most destructive.

Does not affect coral reefs

City floating in the ocean does not affect the coral reefs because of the structure of the platform. The structure is not a solid surface and it will have little to no contact with the bottom of the ocean. It is also made of materials that are non-toxic to marine life.

The floating city concept is set to have its own ecosystem and it will be self-sufficient in terms of energy and food production. This would be an excellent way to reduce the impact that cities have on the environment.

Floating city projects

There are several floating city projects around the world but the major ones are in:

OCEANIX Busan (South Korea)

South Korea aims at creating a floating city for its coastal cities in face of climate change and land shortages. The project called OCEANIX Busan composes of three interconnected platforms that will shelter a community of up to 12,000 people in an area of 15.5 acres.

Oxagon (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia is becoming a highly innovative country with its wildly ambitious project called Neom. One of the key features of this project is a floating eight-sided city called Oxagon. The Oxagon will be centered around a logistics hub with an integrated port.

Maldives Floating City (Maldives)

Maldives is an island state facing an existential threat due to rising sea levels. The island has an ambitious plan of creating a floating city. The project called Maldives Floating City is a collaboration between the Maldives government and developers Dutch Dockland.

The aim is to create a fully-functioning suburb featuring homes, commercial centers, and schools. The city will house just over 20,000 people once opens with homes prices starting at US$150,000 for a studio apartment, while larger family homes up to US$250,000.

Future of floating city

The next generation of futuristic cities may finally be coming together. Floating cities are a concept that’s been hovering around for decades. The idea is to take the best parts of island life, like the natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle, but in a place where there are no territorial claims and no restrictions on who can live there.

Seasteading Institute is developing floating islands that will be located off the coast of French Polynesia. The plan is for these “seasteads” to be self-sufficient communities with their own government and laws, which means they’ll be able to experiment with different political systems without affecting anyone else.

A number of companies have already expressed interest in buying or renting space on these seasteads. The institute wants to create a city that floats on water where people can experiment with new forms of government and social rules.

The institute wants to create “permanent settlements on the ocean” that will serve as autonomous territories. This idea is based on the belief that it is possible to create an autonomous zone in international waters, free from the laws and regulations of any individual nation-state.

Floating city concepts could become a popular choice for those looking for a more sustainable way of living. They are designed to be self-sufficient, meaning they could generate their own energy and food supplies.

There has been a lot of talk in the media lately about the future of cities. Some people believe that urban areas will eventually disappear and be replaced by a more sustainable and environmentally friendly form of living.

Others believe that cities will continue to grow and become even more complex and crowded. Whatever the future holds for cities, one thing is for sure, they will continue to play an important role in our lives. And, as we see with the growing popularity of floating city concepts.

Final words

Sea levels are rising more than ever and more than half of the world’s population lives in coastal areas. It is a situation that has devastating consequences for communities, economies, and governments.

The solution is to create a new type of city in which people can move around and live on an artificial island within a new harbor. Floating cities are one solution to rising sea levels.

With the help of modern technology, we are now able to build a city on water that is as strong as any land-based building. A floating city that is anchored to the seabed is capable of rising and falling with the tide.

Thanks to its ability to rise and fall, it is possible for it to withstand even the rise in sea levels due to global warming. As we continue to explore and develop new technologies, it seems only logical that one-day floating cities will become a reality.