Dutch project tests floating cities to seek more space
By Sophie MIGNON
The Hague (AFP) July 11, 2017
Dutch researchers unveiled Tuesday a model of what could become within two decades a floating mega-island to be used as a creative solution for accommodating housing, ports, farms or parks.
Made up of 87 floating triangles of different sizes, the huge, flexible island made of concrete or steel would eventually stretch 1.5 to two kilometres (one to 1.2 miles), or a total of three square kilometres.
Squeezed for space in this tiny northern European country, "some cities are starting to look into floating solutions, like a floating park on the river for example, where they want to have an area for recreation close by the city centre," Olaf Waals from the Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands (MARIN) told AFP.
If plans for floating islands go ahead it would be a twist in the history of this low-lying country, much of which down the centuries has been reclaimed from the sea and which is protected from the waters by an intricate system of dykes and canals.
"In these times of rising sea levels, overpopulated cities and a rising number of activities on the seas, building up the dykes and pumping out the sands is perhaps not the most efficient solution," said Waals, referring to common methods to reclaim land.
"Floating ports and cities are an innovative solution which reflect the Dutch maritime tradition."
The model, which measures roughly six by eight metres and is made of wood and polystyrene, was laid out Tuesday in a huge water tank to simulate wind, waves and storms, in a presentation for several potential investors.
According to MARIN director Bas Buchner, discussions are underway with the local authority of crowded Haarlemmermeer and the Lelystad airport, both close to the burgeoning capital of Amsterdam, the daily Telegraaf reported.
But the project remains at the early stages, the institute said.
The islands would be anchored to the sea bed and also moored to the shore. But tests still need to be carried out on how they will withstand weather conditions and tidal movements and how to make them self-sufficient in energy and resources, as well as on the effects on marine life -- and the cost.
The "Space at Sea" project in collaboration with other countries has won about 1.6 million euros ($1.8 million) in European subsidies to carry out three years of studies into different uses for such islands -- from seaweed and fish farms to floating cities and ports.
"Technically it could be feasible in 10 to 20 years from today," Waals said.
According to MARIN such solutions are part of a "blue future" seeking sustainable and durable ways to use the oceans and seas which cover 70 percent of the Earth's surface.
Under growing pressure for space "the Netherlands will have to divert back towards the water," Buchner told the Telegraaf. "And we have always been pioneers in this fight."
Paris (AFP) June 29, 2017
French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the world's largest start-up incubator in central Paris on Thursday, taking the city a step closer to fulfilling its ambition of becoming Europe's technology capital. The 34,000 square-metre (366,000 square-foot) facility named Station F occupies a 1920s railway depot on the banks of the Seine river. It is designed to provide a home for 1,000 ... read more
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.