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Engineers Propose Lily Pad-Like Floating Cities

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the city-of-frogs dept.

Earth 309

Zothecula writes "The idea of going offshore to satisfy our renewable energy needs isn't new, but the grand vision of Japan's Shimizu Corporation goes way beyond harnessing green energy at sea for use in cities on Terra firma — it takes the whole city along for the ride. The company, along with the Super Collaborative Graduate School and Nomura Securities, is researching the technical issues involved in constructing its Green Float concept — a self-sufficient, carbon-negative floating city that would reside in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean."

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The technical issues (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189702)

The technical issues: Hurricanes, typhoons, rogue waves, tropical storms... Even if you make your lilies float, what's on top could still be blown over, and how many people want to live with an ocean view that turns dark and deadly every couple years? Oh... wait... New Orleans. Nevermind. The lemmings will pay plenty to drown in the ocean.

Re:The technical issues (4, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189754)

"Oh... wait... New Orleans."

Hey...it only rarely happens, and if it wasn't for the man made disaster that was our levy system, Katrina wouldn't have hurt us much at all.

99% of the time...life is GREAT down here. The attitude, friendly people, interesting culture, banana republic government (is entertainment for us locals)...and the fact that we understand the concept of the "to go cup" at bars, makes it all worthwhile.

Ok, so a storm comes from time to time, really it is usually just an excuse to pack and take an impromptu 4-day vacation to visit friends relative, or maybe even take the party to Beale St. in Memphis.

There are reasons why people live here...and want to visit here.

Re:The technical issues (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189830)

Hey...it only rarely happens...

So do massive oil spills from deep sea drilling. How do you feel about legislation to stop that from happening again, Mr. New Orleans?

Re:The technical issues (-1, Offtopic)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189952)

Mods: How the hell is that offtopic? The author is trying to say that because something rarely happens it shouldn't be investigated, and I have provided a relevant and personal example of why that logic is faulty. Just because you don't like the conclusion doesn't make it offtopic!

Re:The technical issues (-1, Offtopic)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190038)

NOT. OFF. TOPIC.

Mod me into oblivion... it doesn't make you right, you dick.

Re:The technical issues (0, Offtopic)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190064)

Comments regarding moderation are ALWAYS offtopic, since they are metacomments.

Read the FAQ.

Re:The technical issues (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190088)

I'm confused. How do I moderate this comment on a metacomment?

Nevermind. It's you're problem now :)

Re:The technical issues (0, Redundant)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190130)

Mod GP, Parent, and this both informative and offtopic.

Re:The technical issues (0, Offtopic)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190142)

Well what does it say on metametacomments then? Because I think he was being a metadick in a metamassive metaway, if you get my metametadrift.

And since when the hell did geeks follow arbitrary social rules? Geeks are like cats -- they do whatever the hell they want, whenever they want. /metageeked

Re:The technical issues (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190186)

I think the root of the problem that caused your moderation would be that you were making a commend on the gulf oil spill on a article about lillypad cities. This is well off topic. As was the New Orleans defense...

Re:The technical issues (-1, Offtopic)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190206)

Yeah, this comment is offtopic too, but WTH. (Oh, and I have no points today, and thus made none of the moderations in this discussion).

When I get mod points, I usually drop one or two on comments along the lines of "oh sure, mod me down because you disagree with me", or words to that effect. I do this irrespective of whether I was the person to mod down the original comment, whether I agree with the moderation, or whether I think the original comment has merit. I will occasionally mod the original comment up even as I moderate the complaint about the original comment's prior moderation down, contradictory as that may sound.

Why do I do this? Because bitching about being downmodded is noise instead of signal. It's that simple. Better to remove it from the thread by putting it below most thresholds.

I rarely otherwise downmod comments, unless they're really obviously noise, offtopic soapboxing, or part of a flamewar. Hell, I've even held off on downmodding posts that demonstrated massive ignorance on a subject, in favour of upmodding the people correcting said ignorance.

Re:The technical issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190082)

perhaps because you don't know how to properly formulate a question?

Re:The technical issues (2, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190242)

So do massive oil spills from deep sea drilling. How do you feel about legislation to stop that from happening again

Oil obeys the laws of nature, not the ones passed by congress.

Re:The technical issues (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189928)

and if it wasn't for the man made disaster that was our levy system,

You mean, if it wasn't for the greed and corruption that left the levee system unmaintained and ready to fail. [msn.com]

And of course there's the fact that the levee system was rated for a category 3 hurricane, while Katrina was actually a Category 4 - in other words, exceed the specs, expect failures.

I've visited NO. It's a decent place to visit. Wouldn't really want to live there till they get out of the Poverty-Pimp business though.

Re:The technical issues (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189950)

and if it wasn't for the man made disaster that was our levy system

Wrong, if it weren't for the man made disaster of building a city that requires a massive levy system because it's sinking and now several feet below the level of the nearby ocean....

The very existence of NO is just begging for Katrina and many more similar disasters.

Re:The technical issues (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190102)

Lots of cities all over the world are like that, it is a solvable problem. We need port cities, they will tend to sink like this.

Re:The technical issues (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189996)

From a historical and cultural perspective, I love New Orleans. But you guys really need to clean up the local politics. The level corruption and incompetency in office takes a large toll on the rest of the nation. Katrina being a perfect example. I hope everyone here has learned a valuable lesson from that fiasco.

Re:The technical issues (4, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190198)

No no, these guys want to build cities ON the ocean.
New Orleans was build UNDER the ocean.

Crucial difference. :)

Re:The technical issues (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189802)

It explained the lack of typhoons, but a lot of TFA doesn't make sense at all.

The concept would comprise individual floating cells or districts resembling water lilies with a radius of 1km (0.62 miles) that would form a compact village that could house 10,000 to 50,000 people

The Japanese may go for that population density, but it's not for me. The city I live in is 100k people and it must be twenty times that area, and it's too densly populated for my tastes.

The central tower would be surrounded by grassland and forests

Huh???? In a half mile area? WTF?

Re:The technical issues (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189868)

10,000-50,000 total. Not per-lily. It would raise the interesting prospect of a lily's population deciding to leave their city though, and join another :>

Re:The technical issues (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189920)

There was an acre of grass on the cruise ship I was just on.

Re:The technical issues (3, Funny)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190070)

I've got several acres of grass out in my backyard. Tell you what, I'll even throw in an open bar and still only charge half what the cruise costs.

Re:The technical issues (3, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190146)

The city I live in is 100k people and it must be twenty times that area, and it's too densly populated for my tastes.

So living in a real city isn't your bag. That's cool, it keeps the prices down for people who don't mind the density.

10-50k people per 3 sq km isn't that bad, anyway... it's comparable to Hoboken NJ (around 40k in 3.2 sq km), which is pretty dense compared to a lot of urban neighborhoods in the US, but is still quite livable.

Re:The technical issues (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190246)

Whoa mate I'm from Australia with 2.9 people per km2 (7.5 per mi2).
You can actually see your neighbour? How do you stand those population densities? :p

Re:The technical issues (2, Interesting)

ronocdh (906309) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189854)

Oh... wait... New Orleans. Nevermind. The lemmings will pay plenty to drown in the ocean.

Even before Katrina, many of the devastated areas in New Orleans weren't exactly prime real estate. So I don't think it's fair to say that people will "pay plenty" to live in poor conditions. Don't you find it more likely that these proposed cities will quickly turn into conveniently off-shore ghettos?

Re:The technical issues (2, Interesting)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190140)

Or elite gated communities which house the corporate headquarters of multi-national banks such that they avoid paying any taxes what so ever? And I'm sure many very rich people like the idea of retiring to a small personal island in the south pacific - now they can have it built to order.

Re:The technical issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189926)

Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms are all the same thing, just different names, typically used to describe some category of the whole group. But they're all ultimately the same thing.

So really, it's the two things. Storms and waves.

You know New Orleans's problem was? A) It couldn't move and B) it couldn't drain the water fast enough.

Both problems can be eliminated with the right engineering.

Re:The technical issues (1)

Danimoth (852665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189942)

In terms of natural issues, it doesn't seem to me like it would be any more dangerous than many inhabited islands. In fact, I bet some smart planning could create barriers and drainage systems which give it better protection than what most islands have. The server is already Slashdotted so I can't see the details of their plan but outside of the hardships on initial construction I don't see why this wouldn't be feasible.

Re:The technical issues (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190172)

Besides - Kevin Costner never had any trouble until people made an issue out of his gills.

Re:The technical issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189968)

Never lived by the sea? It's not as bad as the news would lead you to believe. New Orleans just has the misfortune of being built below sea level.

Re:The technical issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190258)

And dicks manned the dikes.

AC because there are just too many ways to interpret that phrase and I don't want to be responsible for all of the versions I haven't thought of yet.

Re:The technical issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190018)

Well, considering the goal is to give it a negative carbon footprint, it could for a short time reduce to a neutral carbon footprint in order to mobilize the "lillies" out of the path of oncoming storms. Also if you don't build tall (at least above the surface of the water) then you don't have much to worry about that you wouldn't already worry about in Florida if a hurricane comes. As they say, it's not the wind that gets you, it's the debris, and I think a self-sufficient city at sea will have the debris issue taken care of.

Re:The technical issues (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190174)

Actually they want to put these close to the equator. That area of the sea is pretty much free of cyclonic storms and rogue waves.
Take a look at the tracks of cyclonic storms and you will see that is about the safest place to be.

Tsunamis (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189712)

I wonder how the engineers for the Green Float concept solved (if, indeed they did) how such a lily-pad city concept would be able to withstand tsunamis, which a floating city in the middle of the Pacific Ocean would be especially vulnerable. Unlike tsunamis on land, a lily-pad city, I'd think, would add the additional complication that the city could sink or fragment or capsize, trapping or killing a lot of people.

Also, with regards to the "carbon-negative" claim - do they mean carbon negative with regards to its operation? Or are they also including the incredible amount of carbon that would've had to be emitted in the construction of such a structure?

Re:Tsunamis (5, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189746)

Tsunamis are barely detectable in the open ocean. Their height builds up as they approach land.

Re:Tsunamis (3, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189768)

In the middle of the ocean, a tsunami would barely be felt or noticed.

I'd be more interested how they intend to deal with extremists flying an A380 into the 1km high tower, and what the impact of said tower collapsing onto the lily pad would be.

Re:Tsunamis (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190234)

I 'm willing to take that chance; it really is so improbable that its the least of my worries.

Re:Tsunamis (3, Informative)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189772)

Technically, Tsunamis only rise to their maximum height as they get closer to land. Out at sea, they're mostly beneath the surface. It takes a decrease in depth to force them up into the walls of water we associate them with.

Bearing that in mind, and further considering that we can and do have ships at sea when Tsunamis happen, I assume the problem is manageable, and was probably considered for the Green Float design sometime prior to this point.

Slightly off topic, but did anyone else notice in the overhead pics that these things look fractal derived?

Re:Tsunamis (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189836)

And even at the landing site, tsunamis are not typically walls of water, too.

Freak waves [wikipedia.org] otoh...

Re:Tsunamis (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190132)

In fact, when Tsunamis are predicted, docked boats are advised to put out to sea where they will be safer.

Tsunamis are only dangerous in shallow water (3, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189814)

The displacement of large water which causes the tsunami would not affect deep-water installations... now hurricanes and typhoons would be disastrous.

Anecdotally, I was in Thailand during the Indian Ocean Tsunami. I spoke to folks who had been flooded, who swam away from floating ATM machines and such, and also a boat captain who told me that one mile out, they felt the tsunami... it was like a small sudden wave/bump and passed in a few seconds.

Re:Tsunamis (1)

MintOreo (1849326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189834)

I don't have the engineering degree to say with any authority that this is true, but:

As far as I can predict, I believe it would be perfectly safe from tsunamis. In typical tsunami situations the people most safe are the fishers off shore, as for them they simply feel it as a brief wave rolling under them. Once the force hits against the land mass, however, it gets ugly and destructive.

I'm sure your standard violent ocean torrent/storm is still a great danger.

Re:Tsunamis (1)

Rivalz (1431453) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189944)

Where do you think they get their power from? Near death experiences provide the greatest source of power for the pad.
When this pad's a rocking that's when you can use your T.V..
I'm just curious how they will power the thing if you get 10 days of clouds in a row. Or if the salt forms on the solar panels.

Drydock? How do they repair where it interlinks.
I would imagine if you have to separate the center node it'd fall over. How would they fix it so that in 10 years it doesn't fall apart from wear and tear?

Re:Tsunamis (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190050)

I RTFA, they plan to use space based solar beamed down with microwaves... It really is ridiculously out there.

Re:Tsunamis (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190256)

Well, I think the orbital solar approach is likely to become practical before floating cities do. Since TFA makes it clear this is more pie-in-the-sky futurism than actual practical planning, it may stand to reason the designers assume that we'll be using orbital solar regularly by the time these become practical (if ever).

Re:Tsunamis (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190194)

FTA:

The islands would be located at the equator as it isn’t prone to typhoons and the climate is stable. However, in the event of large waves, strong elastic membranes would be attached to the lagoons around the outer circumference of the cells, with the shallows above the membranes standing 10m (32.8 ft) above sea level. The water pressure difference between the lagoons and the ocean would limit the movement of the membranes and buffer the force of the open sea waves. Additionally, 20-30m (66-98 ft) high seawalls would be constructed to handle a worst-case scenario.

Cliche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189736)

I have a sinking feeling about this...

Something smells fishy here...

Just go with the flow...

Why drag the city along when land is cheap? (3, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189742)

For the price that you pay to build a whole city on the ocean, you could probably build the city on land, build the power generation stuff in the ocean, build a bunch of redundant transmission lines between the two, and still have tons of money left over to improve your lifestyle (and if you really want "green" stuff you could use to build extra windmills or switch to organic foods or whatever else). This really makes little sense.

Re:Why drag the city along when land is cheap? (4, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189798)

I think the point is that this idea comes from Japan, where land is not cheap.

Re:Why drag the city along when land is cheap? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190128)

Plus, they really like seafood. This city could follow the fish.

Sounds like Aquarius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189758)

From "The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps"

SG: Atlantis (2, Funny)

ravan_a (222804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189764)

First we need puddle jumpers, yes puddle jumpers.

Re:SG: Atlantis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189848)

I was just going to say, forget the floating city - I want the zero point modules!

Re:SG: Atlantis (2, Funny)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189924)

Puddle jumpers? Are those like Gate ships?

Re:SG: Atlantis (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190110)

We've got them already! [puddlejumpershoes.com] Where have you been?

Japanese, Pacific, islands? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189766)

Well, I guess it might work out better if they want to build new ones...

(though realistically, probably pipe dreams anyway (nothing particularly new?), again / better to use the tech in most efficient way and place - an existing land, for example)

Re:Japanese, Pacific, islands? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189820)

70% of this planet is covered in water that isn't being used for anything in particular; that is a tremendous waste.

Re:Japanese, Pacific, islands? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189962)

It's being used very actively (in fact, the way we use fisheries might be overusing it), and is an integral part of the planetary systems (necessarily destabilized even more, if you really think about it in terms of percentages of surface)

But it was about something else, how building there might be not the most efficient way to use resources and technology. Even if operation is "carbon negative" (and why only mention carbon?), I suppose the construction won't be.

Re:Japanese, Pacific, islands? (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190014)

You might want to rethink that "isn't being used for anything" bit. A hell of a lot of photosynthesis goes on in the topmost layer of the world's oceans. Not to mention the hydrological cycle and the oceans role in thermo-regulation. We don't want to halt or significantly alter any of the above.

Now, floating cities will not interfere with those processes, for the same reason building cities on land didn't interfere with land based photosynthesis - the amount of space we need to build something large from our point of view is small when viewed from a global scale. A huge city is still a small blotch seen from orbit.

The Earth has some five hundred million square kilometres of surface. We don't need all of it to be occupied. "Wasted" space is not a problem.

Re:Japanese, Pacific, islands? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189900)

Japan is lacking for growing space. It's a very cramped country.

Re:Japanese, Pacific, islands? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190016)

Yeah, I figure that and some amount of xenophobia is what drives such dreams about building new islands.

There's an easier solution there though...

Re:Japanese, Pacific, islands? (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190292)

I wonder how the cities will hold up to Chinese fishing boats?

Bioshock Infinite 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189774)

Here is the setting for the followup to Bioshock Infinte! This is halfway between, Bioshock 1 and 2 under the sea, Bioshock Infinite sky modules).

Waterworld (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189778)

The energy cost of building this seaborne city would be much greater than whatever savings it might obtain, whether built at sea or shipped there from a land base. How about the energy costs of moving people between this city and anyplace else, from which it would be remote?

Building on land isn't less energy efficient, it's more efficient. There's plenty of land near enough to oceans to take advantage of the ocean energy, without the higher costs of operating everything on the ocean. Any merit to these principles would be better applied to building a city on an island rather than a floating city from scratch.

This project is an obvious waste of time, money and energy. I smell a government grant sucked up by bankers and their grad student patsies.

Re:Waterworld (1)

Muros (1167213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189964)

I dont think it would be viable to build LOTS of these, but I can see some excellent uses that can be made of cities like this. One large problem with modern ocean transport is that it is very noisy underwater; it plays havoc with marine life echo-location and navigation. One way to solve this would be the construction of extremely large bulk carriers for non-perishable goods, that are wind and wave propelled (these are viable but slow; i'm thinking along the lines of raw materials transport; metals, chemicals, etc.). Floating cities like these dotted about the edge of the oceans (a few hundred miles out from land) would make great deep water berthing facilities for cargo transfers to smaller ships destined to normal harbours.

Re:Waterworld (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190108)

Well, it's apparent that that's the case, but there are always things we might not have thought of.

Could it be possible for the city to provide some or all of its energy from wave-motion generators?

Obligatory futurama? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189806)

I live in Atlanta. I don't want to turn into a mermaid.

Re:Obligatory futurama? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189860)

I live in Atlanta. I don't want to turn into a mermaid.

Woah! A female on /. ?! I'm baffled and stunned. I'm sure the future mermen of /. would be happy to keep you company in your new mermaid state.

Re:Obligatory futurama? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189936)

Sorry, false alarm. I guess I should have said merman, but I've been working on a paper all day, so my fingers are kind of typing on their own.

Re:Obligatory futurama? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189994)

Zoolander would take offense.

International Waters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189808)

Would be very attractive for a number of businesses.

Would they move .... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189818)

... like the islands of San Serriff [wikipedia.org] ?

Seasteading (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189876)

http://www.seasteading.org/ [seasteading.org]

Idea's been around for a while. The main issue is that it takes some major bucks to get a project like this off the ground so it'll likely remain among the list of intriguing ideas nobody's been able to finance like intercontinental bridges, beanstalks, arcologies, and such.

Re:Seasteading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190284)

The main issue is that it takes some major bucks to get a project like this afloat so it'll likely remain among the list of intriguing ideas nobody's been able to finance like intercontinental bridges, beanstalks, arcologies, and such.

FTFY.

Typo in headline (4, Interesting)

slinches (1540051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189880)

it should read "Artists Propose Lily Pad-Like Floating Cities"

The fractal growth concept is kind of cool though.

Re:Typo in headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190094)

Yeah, I do like the fractal growth idea... The tower size is a ridiculous... they could just shut down the Arecibo Observatory, seal the dish and start adding stuff to it and see if it floats... the weight from the tower seems unlikely.

Buckminster Fuller. Forty years ago. (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189910)

Link [blogspot.com]

Re:Buckminster Fuller. Forty years ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34189970)

Neal Stephenson had something like this in Snow Crash, too.

Re:Buckminster Fuller. Forty years ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190122)

It's been in the Japanese imagination for a long time, you see it crop up in endless amounts of sci-fi and whatever. Closest thing that comes to mind is (the PS game) Front Mission 3, which had a segmented ocean city made of independently powered hexagonal segments, with high density buildings and park spaces.

Septic (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189946)


One word: Septic

The ocean is not your toilet.

Re:Septic (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190180)

Another word: Fertilizer

Plants need nitrogen.

Re:Septic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190200)

It is if you're a whale.

Re:Septic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190254)

Fish crap.

Marshall Savage's "The Millennial Project" (1)

zanel (571806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34189966)

This concept was explored in much greater detail in Marshall Savage's book "The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in 8 Easy Steps" (look it up on Wikipedia...) Honestly, I like Savage's methodology better- use OTEC (power generation through ocean temperature differentials)power to accrete/ grow your building materials from seawater. But then again, all this sort of thing is blue-water blue-skying....

Re:Marshall Savage's "The Millennial Project" (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190176)

I was very interested to see that he references Liek Myrabo's laser-powered launch vehicles concept. I actually took a space studies class under him my freshman year. Last I heard of his research, he'd done some simple tests (I think there's a video out there on the internet) shooting a demonstration vehicle (about the size of a bird from what I remember) and propelling it upward. He's moved the laser generator to the ground (it was supposed to be in orbit originally). I'd love to know where things stand with his research. I hope it didn't hit a wall.

Mag? Really. (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190000)

They talk about using magnesium for construction.
Magnesium and salt water is about as bad as it gets for corrosion problems.
That thing would be decomposing faster than they could build it.

Re:Mag? Really. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190092)

But it would be really, really pretty when it caught fire!

farpoint (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190034)

anyone else think that looks like Farpoint?

Or am I so bored by this meeting that I am making nutty observations?

Needlessly Elaborate (1)

omnibit (1737004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190062)

Most countries have an abundance of land making this fantasy of a city completely redundant. While Japan is noted as having far less usable land than say the U.S., Europe or continental Asia, skyscrapers, land reclamation and urban sprawl usually do the trick in making room for population growth.

To conceive of this mammoth project might be an architect's wet dream, but realistically, the global population is not so extreme that this needless reallocation of resources is warranted.

In terms of generating renewable energy and minimizing resource use, one only needs to look in our backyards - we've the technology to go carbon neutral/negative now. It's the political and societal will that's lacking.

Territorial Disputes? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190066)

Can you imagine a fleet of Chinese trawlers smashing into such a city because they claim the water it's under? Somali pirates would like to pay a visit as well.

Get back to me when it's actually built (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190074)

I an Engineer, and I propose that supermodels be required by law to date Engineers... that doesn't mean it's going to happen!

The Raft (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190106)

Or they could just lash a bunch of ships to a super carrier and let it float nearly aimlessly around the Pacific Ocean, picking up and dropping off refugees every time it stops.

This is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190126)

I read about this decades ago.
Amazon review of a book. [amazon.com]
It made no sense then, it'll make no sense today.

In related news..... (1)

ewenix (702589) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190178)

The proof of concept (known as the Carnival Splendor) for the "floating city" idea isn't going well....

Fuck that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190202)

Chingers on rafts - what's not to like?

Seasteading (1)

Elwar123 (1053566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190210)

They've been working on this at http://www.seasteading.org/ [seasteading.org] for several years now. Cities in the sea, and being able to move your "Seastead" from one city to another if you don't like living there.

Atlantis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190228)

Someone watched a lot of Stargate: Atlantis. Do you think the cities will have shields and a cloaking device?

Environmental aspect (1)

junglebeast (1497399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190236)

The green float would "use a number of technologies to make a carbon negative system" and "would also produce zero waste by recycling resources and converting waste into energy". However none of their proposed ideas to accomplish these tasks would be any easier to do on a green float as opposed to on dry land. If it's so easy to build a carbon negative city with zero waste, prove it first on dry land...it will surely be more difficult to do on one of these contraptions where you have so many other technological nightmares to deal with. And I won't bother to mention what a catastrophe it would be when one of these things sinks or flips over in a major storm.

Engineers why stop there? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34190278)

If your going to propose something impractical why not go big like a Dyson Sphere!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere [wikipedia.org]

Spore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34190280)

These units remind me of eating plant cells in Spore.

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