A new industry of floating infrastructure is emerging to help adapt to rising sea levels. There are two distinct approaches that are being put forth as possible solutions: retrofitting homes to be amphibious and building floating cities.
Amphibious homes can preserve the accessibility of the house and maintain the congenial front porch culture in places like Louisiana, said Elizabeth English, founder and director of The Buoyant Foundation Project. English’s design places a steel frame beneath a house, and then below that, in the crawl space, buoyancy elements. Her team then recommends adding elements to prevent lateral movement so the home will not float away while on the surface of floodwaters.
She estimated that a contractor could do such a retrofit for about $20 to $30 per square foot, but cautioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently discourages this type of building practice. Modern floating cities are the brainchild of architect Bjarke Ingels. He told CNBC he hopes his Oceanix City, which is currently slated to be built in the harbor near Busan,
South Korea, will be “a city that is the most resilient city you can imagine, but at the same time, the most enjoyable city that you can imagine.” “We really hope that it will be a successful project and we would like to replicate it in other parts of the world,” Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, told CNBC of the Oceanix development.
She said the world must look more into adaptation and hopes that the project can help mitigate or even solve the problem of sea-level rise. Would you live in a floating city or retrofit your home so it floats during floods? Watch the video above to learn more about what life could be like in these innovative climate change adaptations.