Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Friday, September 23, 2011

The ¨lilypad¨ artificial floating island for the State of Kiribati

The Lilypad floating city, a concept by the Belgian arch. Vincent Callebaut. Photograph: vincent.callebaut.org


From John Vidal´s article Artificial island could be solution for rising Pacific sea levels:

Sea levels are rising so fast that the tiny Pacific state of Kiribati is seriously considering moving its 100,000 people on to artificial islands. In a speech to the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum this week, President Anote Tong said radical action may be needed and that he had been looking at a $2bn plan that involved "structures resembling oil rigs":
"The last time I saw the models, I was like 'wow it's like science fiction, almost like something in space. So modern, I don't know if our people could live on it. But what would you do for your grandchildren? If you're faced with the option of being submerged, with your family, would you jump on an oil rig like that? And [I] think the answer is 'yes'. We are running out of options, so we are considering all of them."
Kiribati is not alone. Tuvalu, Tonga, the Maldives, the Cook and the Solomon Islands are all losing the battle against the rising seas and are finding it tough to pay for sea defences. Kiribati faces an immediate bill of over $900m just to protect its infrastructure.
But history shows there is no technological reason why the nation could not stay in the middle of the Pacific even if sea levels rose several feet.
The Uros people of Peru live on around 40 floating villages made of grasses in the middle of Lake Titicaca. Equally, the city of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec predecessor of Mexico City that was home to 250,000 people when the Spaniards arrived, stood on a small natural island in Lake Texcoco that was surrounded by hundreds of artificial islands.(...)
But Tong's imagination has been stirred by a more futuristic vision. It's possible he's seen the "Lilypad" floating city concept by the Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut. This "ecopolis" would not only be able to produce its own energy through solar, wind, tidal and biomass but would also process CO2 in the atmosphere and absorb it into its titanium dioxide skin.
Bangkok architects S+PBA have come up with the idea of a floating "wetropolis" to replace eventually the metropolis of Bangkok. They say that Bangkok is founded on marshes and with sea levels rising several centimetres a year and the population growing fast, it's cheaper and more ecologically sound to embrace the rising seas than fight them.

Kiribati could emulate Spiral Island in Mexico. This was constructed by British artist Richard "Rishi" Sowa on a base of 250,000 plastic bottles. The island was destroyed by Hurricane Emily in 2005 but is being rebuilt. With millions of tonnes of rubbish already floating in the Pacific, and plans to collect it, Kiribati could solve two problems in one go.


No comments:

Post a Comment

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails