Sustainable Floating City Development

Submitted by Fen-Yu (Vicky) Lin | published 2nd Nov 2021 | last updated 29th Sep 2022
Future cities on water
Floating city development


As world population is growing and cities are expanding rapidly, more space is required for food and energy, increasing the pressure on available land.  Every week, a whopping three million new people are moving to cities and, by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. The largest proportion of these new city dwellers will live in areas threatened by sea level rise and extreme conditions such as heavy rains, strong winds and long dry periods. Moreover, due population growth and increasing resource consumption, it is predicted in 2050 there will not be enough land to produce the food required to sustain the growing population. What will we do then? Where will we find the space to produce food and to expand our cities?

Floating development could be a solution to current global challenges. To cope with the future challenges of the growing world population and land scarcity, new solutions to build cities and grow food should be developed. Building floating structures on water could be a solution to gain the space we need for urbanization and food production.

Floating development is based on floating foundations and can adapt to changes in the water level autonomously. Floating neighborhoods could be first created in old harbors, in bays or nearby lakes. This is already happening in cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Other cities where the first floating neighborhoods could be developed are Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. A step by step approach will make sure that floating structures will be first applied in calm wave conditions  (harbors or bays), to gain the experience and the technical knowledge that is required for dealing with harsher environments at sea.

Learn more from FAQs about floating urban development: