Perspective: The Republic of Maldives has partnered with developer Dutch Docklands and architecture firm Waterstudio to build a floating city large enough to hold 20,000 residents. Unlike other projects born of luxury, this project is seen as a practical solution to combat sea level rise.

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The Maldives is an archipelago of many low-lying islands, 80 percent of which less than one meter above sea level. AT worst case scenariothe entire country could be flooded by 2100 due to rising sea levels.

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floating city being built in the Maldives, is just a 10-minute boat ride from the capital. It will consist of 5,000 houseboats, restaurants, schools and shops to be built at a local shipyard and towed into place. The blocks are attached to the underwater hull to prevent them from drifting.

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The nearby coral reefs act as a natural breakwater, minimizing the sense of movement of residents.

The city will also be self-sufficient as most of its electricity will come from solar energy. Wastewater will be treated and used as fertilizer for plants. Instead of traditional air conditioning, buildings and homes will be cooled by cold water from the depths of the Indian Ocean.

The prices aren’t that bad, with a studio costing around $150,000 and a family home costing roughly $250,000.

The city is expected to receive its first residents in early 2024, with the project due to be completed by 2027.