Are floating cities in our future? Norwegian scientists say yes

Floating cityPhoto: Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

During the the 20th century, pop culture was convinced that flying cars would take over the world. While flying cars don’t seem likely in our near future, floating cities very well might be.

Researchers from Norway and Singapore began collaborating on building constructions on the sea in 2004. This might sound right out of a Sci-Fi novel, but the reasons that prompted development of floating cities are very real.

Onshore crowding

Developers from Singapore first contacted researchers from SINTEF, an independent research giant from Norway, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) over a decade ago.

Why Singapore?

Land is a precious resource in Singapore, where over 5.5 million people live on about 710 square kilometers of land. Onshore crowding prompted research into other options for construction of housing, manufacturing, and business buildings.

Why Norway?

Norway has been storing oil and gas in underground units for years. The Singaporean developers were initially interested in making use of subsurface area for both housing and industry. So, they reached out to the Norwegian experts.

The collaboration soon expanded to include on-sea constructions as well.

Models being tested

So-called Multi-Purpose Floating Structures and Large Floating Coastal Structures, in model form, are being tested by SINTEF.

These structures are nothing like post-apocalyptic atolls from Waterworld that may come to mind.

The constructions are expert-designed and extremely high-tech.

SINTEF model test
Model testing of a floating storage facility at a SINTEF laboratory in Trondheim. Photo: SINTEF

Read more about them in a scientific paper by Øyvind Hellan, Vice President of Research at SINTEF Ocean here.

International interest

SINTEF and Singapore
Researchers from SINTEF and Singapore meeting in Trondheim before touring Western Norway. Photo: Ingvil Snøfugl / Norwegian SciTech News

Researchers from Australia, Silicon Valley, Singapore and SINTEF met in Norway in 2017. Together, they toured Western Norway.

The group also surveyed key sites such as floating bridges and laboratories of SINTEF’s ocean division.

The delegation from Silicon Valley already has floating construction plans in French Polynesia, where rising sea levels present a problem for onshore settlements.

Source: Norway Today


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