This floating villa is real

‘Dubai’s crazy awesome floating villas now exist in real life’. That was the heading on Huffington Post this month. At first they were a little bit skeptical, because ‘the rendered photos looked too good to be true’. So were we, but it is. Here’s a video of the construction of the floating Seahorse. You can find more pictures and video’s here.

We think this is a very interesting example of floating development, because it provides a habitat both for humans as well as for life below the water surface. We’re really curious to see how the artificial coral reef will evolve and how nature beneath and above the water surface will respond to the villa. So we would advice to have this monitored and researched to further improve floating development with a positive impact on our planet.

Floating Seahorse II

Credits photos: Kleindienst

Quote wondered: what happened since 2011?

Quote – a Dutch magazine on business and lifestyle – wondered what happened to the entrepreneurs who pitched their business five years ago. Amongst them was our architect Bart Roeffen who pitched for DeltaSync

Bart: “We raised the money we needed to do research, but our pitch was actually very naive. We asked to invest in a concept, but investors want to invest in a product. Or in our case, in a real estate project on a specific location. Our company DeltaSync is doing really well though. We raised funds and work for several cities in the Netherlands and abroad.”

The timing of the pitch five years ago had to do with the Floating Pavilion in the Rijnhaven in Rotterdam, realized by DeltaSync. Bart: “That was a great succes because that was at the time when people were getting more aware of climate change. We wanted to take advantage of this momentum. We noticed quite quickly though that there were a lot of obstacles due to Dutch laws and regulations. Thats why we focused on other countries as well, where there are huge possibilities.”

“Overall, I’m still convinced that we have to look at the possibilities on the water, because we are devastating the earth right now. And with that I don’t mean land reclamation like in Dubai, which is irresponsible from a ecological point of view.”

Bart concludes with an interesting fact for potential investors: “Right now building on the water is 10% to 20% more expensive, but this is largely compensated by the price of water plots, which is lower than the price of land.”

Foto Bart Quote II

Credits text & photo Quote-article: Sander Schimmelpenninck & Aafke Holwerda

Dutch Water Sector calls for a Blue Revolution!

Great news: the Dutch Water Sector in the Netherlands is convinced as well that it’s time for a Blue Revolution to meet the challenges the world is facing today. Their blog is an open call to the Netherlands to take the lead in this.

The Dutch Water Sector is one of the nine Top Sectors in the Netherlands, a unique form of collaboration designed to promote innovation, to attract talent and to ensure a solid position for the sectors in the international context.

The blog of the Dutch Water Sector is based on our vision on the future of cities and mentions figures about the research we’ve done, like the fact that we only need 1% of the oceans to stay within a 2°C temperature rise. It also refers to our seven reasons why our future is on the water.

Ten years ago we started doing research on floating cities. Four years ago we presented our vision on a blue revolution. Today the Dutch Water Sector is adopting it. Thank you, let’s build a better future!


Is our future at sea?

Journalist Sanne Bloemink explores this question in De Groene Amsterdammer. Her article gives an inspiring overview of the blue revolution and seasteading, with grass roots both in the Netherlands and Silicon Valley.

She interviewed Joe Quirk – an American writer of best sellers, board member at the Seasteading Institute and self announced seavangelist – and Karina Czapiewska, floating city developer and one of the founders of DeltaSync and Blue21.

Read the full article here

Nice to know: the article was a staff pick by Blendle when it was published in February this year…

Reserve a seat @BlueAcademy today 11AM on flood protection in NYC

After hurricane Sandy – the second-costliest hurricane in United States history – hit New York City in 2012, what does the city do to become resilient? Roni Meryl Deitz, Project Engineer Integrated Planning and Coastal Resiliency at Arcadis will present several solutions New York City is working on right now.

11:00 – 11:30  Welcome words and short introduction about Blue21 and Indymo by Barbara Dal Bo Zanon & Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther

11:30 – 12:00  Multi-purpose flood protection solutions in New York City by Roni Meryl Deitz 

12:00 – 13:00  Discussion & free lunch

Reserve a seat! (limited places available)


Source image:
Photo from: “The weather of the Future” by Heidi Cullen

Tech Insider: “Floating cities could be a reality by 2020”

Tech Insider wrote this article recently, just perfect if you want to know about the basic concept of floating cities and about the goals of the Seasteading Institute, co-founded by Peter Thiel. “We thought that was a reasonable goal for us when we launched our project [in 2012],” Randolph Hencken, executive director of the institute, told Tech Insider. “It’s still audacious. I walk a line between optimistic and skeptical.”

We are convinced 2020 is realistic, what do you think?

Read full article: Floating cities could be a reality by 2020

Source image: Youtube/Seasteading

Kelvin Ko presents research in Hong Kong

Kelvin Ko, the DeltaSync intern who just completed his Civil Engineering Masters thesis at TU Delft, was invited to present his research this month at the Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos conference in Hong Kong. His research shows that it is technically feasible to create small floating cities and even floating high-rise buildings of 15 floors at sea, even under hurricane conditions.

Kelvin Ko: “I was a bit nervous at first, because I thought my presentation would be too technical and detailed compared to the other presenters. But I could tell everyone was positively surprised with my presentation because most people had little knowledge about such a concept as a floating city. People reacted very enthusiastically and asked a lot of questions about floating development in general, like what it could mean on a political or economic level. I enjoyed it a lot and think my research increases the attractiveness of floating urban development for cities such as New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.”

Read Kelvin Ko’s research

Source image:

Floating forest in Rotterdam officially opened

Yesterday, on National Tree Day, the bobbing forest in the Rijnhaven in Rotterdam – next to the floating pavilion – was officially opened. The forest consists of 20 floating trees and is designed by Mothership. The forest is an art project, raising questions about innovation, environment and climate change. Find out more in this short interview with designer Jeroen Everaert.






Credits photo’s floating pavilion: Nikki Ross-Zehnder
Photo opening: (foto via Havenbedrijf Rotterdam NV)

Royal meeting at KIVI

Yesterday our co-founder and nominee Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther had the honour to meet Princess Beatrix and Princess Mabel at the Day of the Engineer, organised by KIVI, the Royal Institute for Engineers.

Although Rutger did not win – which makes us feel a little bit blue – it was fantastic to be part of this royal event. We are still very proud to work with one of the three best engineers of the Netherlands. Congratulations to Tim Horeman-Franse for winning the jury award, and to Laura Klauss, who won the public award. Keep up the good work!

Thanks KIVI for the nomination and thanks everyone for voting, we consider your support as a big thumbs up for the blue revolution!

Oproep aan alle astronauten van ruimteschip Aarde: stem uiterlijk zondag

Door Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther

Maak je je net als ik zorgen over klimaatverandering, voedseltekort en een stijgende zeespiegel? Stem dan uiterlijk 13 maart op mij als Ingenieur van het Jaar. Dan doe ik alles wat in mijn vermogen ligt om samen met andere onderzoekers, ingenieurs en waterexperts deze problemen op te lossen door middel van drijvende steden. Waarom en hoe lees je in dit blog (of bekijk onze missie in 1 minuut). 

Verstedelijking betekent vandaag de dag: meer schade
Aan het einde van deze eeuw woont 85% van de mensheid in een stad. Dat zijn ruim 8,5 miljard mensen. Deze steden hebben dan ruim twee keer zoveel voedsel nodig als vandaag. Bovendien liggen ze vooral in kwetsbare deltagebieden die steeds meer bedreigd worden door overstromingen. Op dit moment bedraagt de jaarlijkse wereldwijde schade hierdoor al ruim 5 miljard euro. Dit neemt de komende 35 jaar alleen al door verstedelijking in kustgebieden toe tot 45 miljard euro. De effecten van klimaatverandering zijn hierin nog niet eens meegenomen.

Maar een stad kan ook een positieve impact hebben
We moeten steden dus fundamenteel anders gaan bouwen. Het water biedt hiervoor ongekende mogelijkheden: 70% van onze planeet bestaat uit water. Bovendien liggen de meeste steden aan de kust. Water biedt ruimte aan klimaatbestendige stadsuitbreidingen die CO2 en afvalwater opvangen. Hiermee kunnen ze biobrandstoffen en voedsel produceren in drijvende algenplantages en aquacultuur. Zo kunnen drijvende steden een échte circular en biobased economy aanjagen en een positieve impact hebben op de planeet. We hebben zelfs maar 1% van de oceaan nodig om binnen een temperatuurstijging van 2°C te blijven.

Tijd voor een blauwe revolutie!
Een blauwe revolutie, dat is onze visie. En we zijn al begonnen met concrete projecten. Naast het drijvend paviljoen en drijvende ecowoningen in Delft onderzoeken we de ecologische impact van drijvende projecten met onderwaterdrones; we zien dat er onder drijvende platforms hele nieuwe ecosystemen ontstaan. Daarnaast ben ik als Lector Waterinnovatie betrokken bij het project AquaDock op de RDM Campus van Hogeschool Rotterdam, waar bedrijven, studenten en docenten samenwerken aan drijvende projecten. 

Samen met andere waterpioniers
Het spreekt voor zich dat één techniek of persoon nooit de wereldwijde grote vraagstukken kan oplossen. Hiervoor is systeeminnovatie nodig: het op grote schaal toepassen van diverse technieken. Daarom heb ik vorig jaar met mijn business partners Blue21 opgericht, een internationale social enterprise waarin experts van verschillende achtergronden kennis delen rondom drijvende verstedelijking. Zo kunnen we kennis snel mobiliseren en toepassen en samen de blauwe revolutie aanjagen.

Drijvende steden bieden een antwoord op grote vraagstukken. Hier zou ik als Ingenieur van het Jaar samen met andere ingenieurs en met KIVI aan willen werken, door kennis te delen en drijvende projecten te realiseren. Een drijvende stad met een positieve impact op de planeet kan bovendien een uniek icoonproject zijn voor Nederland. Zoals de Deltawerken ons vorige eeuw internationaal op de kaart hebben gezet, zo kan de drijvende stad dat in de 21e eeuw doen. Wat mij betreft hebben we geen tijd te verliezen.

Stem op Rutger als Ingenieur van het Jaar

Missie in 1 minuut

Join Blue21











Image: Space Station Flyover of the Mediterranean

Source image:

Image Credit: ESA/NASA

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