Auckland's Climate Action Plan

Floating Communities

by
Rex Smith
Rex Smith | 3 months ago | in Open Ideas
  1. Rising sea levels & flooding (floating communities are unaffected by extreme weather events due to climate change)

  2. Seismic threats (floating communities are not attached to the ground and thus are unaffected by earthquakes)

  3. The high cost of urban land development (Auckland is a marine environment – there is ample water near the CBD for a floating development)

  4. Increasing traffic congestion (ferries are a cheaper transportation option than construction of motorways and light rail)

  5. Pollution from fossil fuels (wave conversion technology is especially suited to floating platforms and is a source of green renewable energy 24/7)

  6. Plastic waste disposal (our thousands of tonnes of waste polyethylene can be recycled to produce buoyant mega-pontoons for floating platforms)

Andrew Dyson 3 months ago

Tsunamis? Typhoons? For the most part i like the idea but there are details to consider. Like sewage. Drinking water.

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Rex Smith 3 months ago

Hi Andrew. Tsunamis are certainly dangerous for low lying coastal areas anywhere, but apparently only destructive when the wave hits a shelf close to shore and the wave rapidly escalates in both height and power - otherwise, their long wavelength and can be floated over. It may be possible to utilize the vertical spuds that tether the platform to raise the platform (as per jack-up barge in attached pix) Similarly, typhoon resilience mainly depends on suitable tethering and adequate building design but flooding would no longer be a problem. Of course, no development is Armageddon proof and most existing development is neither seismic nor inundation proof like a floating platform. Furthermore, I understand that desalination plants and sewage disposal systems are employed on some ocean liners, so perhaps the same technologies could be explored. Thank you for your comments.

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Andrew Dyson 3 months ago

I agree there is no solution that stands up to things like nuclear weapons or large rocks from space. However I was thinking that these floating cities (I love the concept BTW) would be closer into shore. Also consider that as floating entities you can utilize the space UNDER the water as well. So in case of high winds, design the entire structure to be lowered to reduce the wind profile and wave effects. Lots of options. Shape the buildings to be able to allow the wind to flow around them and turn into the wind in case of large storms, then move back afterward.

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Rex Smith 3 months ago

All sounds good Andrew. You better join the design team! Might have to wait a bit though. A strategic approach like this will mean protracted trials with prototypes before there is proof of concept. It will also require a fair slice of funding. However, I like to think exceptional circumstances demand exceptional innovation. Hopefully, saving the planet might be regarded as exceptional.

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