Last week, at the kick-off meeting in Wageningen, representatives from 17 different partners set the cornerstone for a promising three years research. The Horizon 2020 funded project [email protected] aims to revolutionise working and living offshore by developing standardised and cost efficient modular platforms with low ecological impact. Believing that in the future there will be an increasing demand for safe and cost efficient deck space at sea, our team and its European partners will be addressing the conceptualization of marine floating islands that are intended for human habitation. We are glad to be part of such an innovative and exciting research project and can’t wait to start collaborating!
Next week the 5th World Ocean Council: The Sustainable Ocean Summit 2017 will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
We will be there and our co-founder Rutger de Graaf will be presenting during a plenary session on “Ocean 2030: Ocean Industry Projections and the Future of the Ocean Economy”. His presentation will be about floating developments and innovative monitoring on behalf of Blue21 and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.
For more information on this event, please click here.
We already mentioned the article in The New York Times with Blue21 designs for the French Polynesia floating island project.
But there is more! This week, also NBC Mach published an inspiring article on Blue Frontiers and the French Polynesia floating village project on the south side of the main island of Tahiti.
Our creative director Bart Roeffen is quoted, explaining “he wanted to create something for the Tahitian lagoon that didn’t look out of place.”
“From a distance, the floating village will look almost like a natural island, with a green “living roof” of gardens that will also help filter waste water. The buildings will be constructed with recycled materials where possible, making extensive use of local renewable materials, such as coconut wood.
Roeffen says the technologies needed for floating communities will become increasingly important, especially in islands and in coastal regions threatened by rising sea levels. But there is also a primal appeal to living on the water, reflected in the high value of coastal land.”
“The fringes between the land and the water are where everything comes together,” Roeffen says, “so what we would like to do is to create more fringes.”
World Economic Forum had also published an article back in March 2017 including a former Blue21design for this project. Please read the full article here.
This week, The New York Times published an article on Seasteading and the role of Blue Frontiers on the French Polynesia floating island project.
Blue21 is working in close cooperation with The Seasteading Institute and Blue Frontiers and is primarily responsible for the designs of the complete island.
Please read the full article here.
Press release from MARIN.
Horizon 2020 funded project [email protected] commenced its work on November 1, 2017 setting out to make a step in efficient use of the maritime environment. The consortium consisting of 17 European partners aim to provide sustainable and affordable workspace at sea by developing a standardised and cost efficient modular island with low ecological impact. Project coordinator Maarten Flikkema (MARIN) says: “The three-year project can be regarded as a success if the modular design of the multi-use platform has successfully been validated in a relevant environment at model scale”.
[email protected] will study the most suitable shape of the floaters to minimise the motions. As starting point triangles will be used which also allow for a modular design maximising the flexibility to add and remove deck space and applications if necessary. Offshore specialists will contribute to design a shared mooring solution in combination with a remote monitoring and sensing system to reduce installation and maintenance costs.
In [email protected] four applications will be studied being farming, transport and logistics hub, energy hub and living. To show the potential of multi-use modular floating islands [email protected] will conclude with the evaluation of three business cases with combinations of applications for various locations throughout Europe. [email protected] will initiate digital communication to those interested through a project website and Twitter (@SpaceAtSea). Workshops and other result sharing activities will be announced through these streams.
[email protected] is partly funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme under project number 774253. Partners working together in this MARIN coordinated project are DeltaSync, DST, Nemos Delft University, Mocean Offshore, TU Hamburg Harburg, Bluewater, University of Rostock, Gicon-Grossmann, Wageningen University, University Duisburg-Essen, TU Graz, Waterstudio, Icepronav, Val Fou and DEME.
Beeldzeggend Filmproducties has shared an impressive mini-documentary on YouTube presenting several experts (among which our co-founder Rutger de Graaf) on sustainability, transition management, governance, water technology and floating developments. At Blue21, we are already convinced that floating cities are the solution to worldwide land scarcity and the recipe for dealing with sea level rise and climate change. We know we should sway with water instead of only raising land. Now a climate adaptive reaction of the government is required…
As the video clearly explains, not everybody shares the innovative ideas and opinions of these experts. Most people react sceptically against living on water, since water should be considered a threat. Now, the time has come to prove that nothing is further from the truth. The Floating Pavilion, developed by DeltaSync in co-operation with the Municipality of Rotterdam is proof!
How great an opportunity it would be for The Netherlands to accommodate the first knowledge and expertise centre in the field of floating construction!
It is just a matter of time…
Earlier this week, world-renowned science magazine Nature published a feature article about the collaboration between The Seateading Institute, Blue Frontiers and Blue21 on their first floating island project in French Polynesia.
Our co-founder Bart Roeffen has been interviewed on the design part of the project and the article has been illustrated with his latest designs!
The full article can be read here.
We are proud to share a very impressive and visionary presentation of Seasteading Institute’s President Joe Quirk, and co-founder of Blue Frontiers, explaining the history as well as the most recent developments of our joint floating project in French Polynesia!
He proudly presents Blue21 as ‘world leaders in environmentally sustainable floating real estate’ by showing our latest designs of ‘environmentally sound, self-sustaining modular floating islands with significant regulatory autonomy’.
Please share our enthusiasm here!
Great news for the future development of international, sustainable climate resilience:
The Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA) announced it will be accomodated in The Netherlands in the cities of Groningen and Rotterdam. In Rotterdam, the GCECA will even be hosted in a new climate-neutral floating office building. To be more precise, it will be located next to the Floating Pavilion, which has been developed and built by the Dutch company DeltaSync.
“Its location in the Dutch delta has gained Rotterdam an internationally strong reputation in the field of climate adaptation. In addition, the city boasts good international accessibility.”
Please read the full news article here.
We’re pleased to share the Seasteading Institute(TSI)’s Guest Blog article written by Rutger De Graaf-van Dinther. Rutger is the co-founder of DeltaSync and Blue21, which are determined to realize the first sustainable floating islands in French Polynesia. His scientific vision is also featured in the Seasteading book published by Joe Quirk.
How cities will save the rainforests with floating production
Cities use vast areas of agricultural land all over the planet for their energy and food supply. To achieve the Paris climate agreement, even more space is needed to capture all the CO2 that cities produce. By implementing floating algae production systems, cities can find this space and even save huge areas of agricultural land. This is shown by a recent study of Blue21, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and TU Delft who evaluated the potential of these systems in two very different coastal cities: Rotterdam and Manila. Rotterdam can save 12 times its own area. For Manila, 74 times the city area in agricultural land can be saved. These particular saved areas do not have to be created by cutting rainforest or cultivating other nature areas. Therefore, if coastal cities all over the world would start using floating production, the world’s rainforest can be saved.
Cities: from parasites to solution space
Cities are still huge importers of resources such as food, while they mainly produce waste. Citizens in urban areas also account for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions. This so-called parasitic metabolism causes various environmental problems such as air and water pollution, CO2 emissions and a high dependency on global networks for critical resources. However, the concentration of people and industries in large cities also make cities a unique solution space for technological innovations. A promising solution for cities to use waste as a resource is using wastewater and CO2 in algae systems to produce biofuel. Algae can fix carbon up to 50 times as fast as land based vegetation. However, in dense urban environments, the space for these systems is often scarce and expensive. The water offers a new perspective here because it can provide the required space for floating algae systems, in particular in coastal cities where a large part of the urban population is located.
How floating algae systems can make a difference
The study of Dal Bo Zanon et al (2017) published in the Journal of Cleaner Production shows how floating algae systems can change the urban parasitic metabolism. Two very different coastal cities were used as case study: the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as developed coastal city and the city of Manila, the Philippines as rapidly developing coastal city. Figure 1 demonstrates the system. Nutrients from domestic wastewater and CO2 emissions from industries are used in open algae ponds with selective environments to encourage the most productive algae (Mooij et al., 2013). The fats that algae produce are used for biofuel production. The proteins are used to feed fish in so-called aquaponics systems. In these systems, the waste excrements of the fish are used for cultivation of fruits and vegetables. Because food and energy production on the water is much more efficient than on land, space on land is saved and CO2 emissions of the cities are reduced.
Towards circular coastal cities
How much food can floating algae systems produce? The calculation model of Dal Bo Zanon shows that cities can produce a large part of their own food. This is contrary to current practice in which cities import almost everything. By using all waste nutrients, floating algae systems can supply 29% of the total vegetal consumption and 20% of the total protein consumption of the city of Rotterdam. For Manila, floating algae systems can provide 22% of the city’s vegetal consumption and 37% of the total protein consumption. Moreover, the model shows that floating production in Rotterdam can be at least 130 times as efficient as land based agriculture. For Manila, the efficiency is even better: to achieve the same food production on land, 189 times as much space would be needed.
Figure 1. How CO2 and wastewater can be productively used by cities (Source: Blue21/ Dal Bo Zanon et al., 2017)
Now we have proven the benefits of floating production systems on paper, we want to demonstrate it in practice. The next step is the design and realization of a real-time monitored floating production pilot project to recycle wastewater and CO2 and produce energy and food. For this purpose we are looking for coastal cities all over the world to build the pilot and help them to become more resilient for climate change.
The full study can be downloaded at: http://www.blue21.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Journal-of-Cleaner-Production.pdf
Funding for this study or preliminary studies was provided by Centre of Expertise Deltatechnology, Topsector Water, Municipality of Rotterdam and Blue21.
Dal Bo Zanon, B, Roeffen, B, Czapiewska, De Graaf-Van Dinther, R.E.; and Mooij, P.R. (2017) Potential of floating production for delta and coastal cities. Journal of Cleaner Production 151, 10-20
Mooij, P.R., Stouten, G.R., Tamis, J., van Loosdrecht, M.C.M., Kleerebezem, R. (2013) Survival of the fattest. Energy Environ. Sci. 6, 3404–3406. doi:10.1039/c3ee42912a