World’s first floating city to be developed in French Polynesia

French Polynesia has signed an historic agreement that will allow for the development of the first floating city in a lagoon in French Polynesia. During a visit to The Seasteading Institute in California on the 13th of January a memorandum of understanding was signed by Mr. Jean Christophe Bouissou, Minister of Housing and the government’s official spokesperson on behalf of French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch. Blue21 co-founder Karina Czapiewska was there on this memorable occasion.

The floating city is to be developed in a lagoon off the island of Tahiti. Suitable locations will be sought in sheltered waters behind a reef break so that the island will be protected from large waves. Environmental and economic impact studies will then be conducted to ensure that it will benefit the local economy and avoid damaging the environment.

The special governing framework needed to realize the development will be completed by the end of 2017, studies into the project should reach completion by 2018. Construction of the pilot project based on Blue21’s sustainable modular platform design, will hopefully start in 2019 and is estimated to cost between US $10 million and US $50 million.

This exciting new development has been picked up by media around the world with BBC News and Global Construction Review reporting on the news. Visit The Seasteading Institute’s website for more information on the collaboration with French Polynesia.

Image source: The Seasteading Institute

Integrated and resilient eco-village to be developed in Almere

In Almere, The Netherlands a visionary pilot community consisting of integrated and resilient eco-homes is being developed.  These self-sufficient homes will be equipped with combined technologies such as renewable energy, energy storage, organic food production, aquaponics, water management and waste-to-resource systems. In doing so this project could potentially positively influence some of the challenges of increasing urbanization and scarcity of resources whilst reducing global CO2 emissions.

The first 25 homes are currently being developed in Almere, with a total of 100 expected to be built as part of this first pilot. More ReGen Villages are expected to be developed along Northern Europe with Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany and Belgium showing interest in the self-resilient eco-villages.

For more information about ReGen Villages, check out their website or visit Copenhagen based architect agency Effekt for furhter insight into the projcect.

Image source: Effekt

Exciting development for the future of world’s first seastead

On the 13th of January, the French Polynesian President, Édouard Fritch, will travel from Tahiti to San Francisco to meet with members of the Seasteading Institute. The purpose of his visit is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, confirming the agreement with the Seasteading Institute to collaborate on developing the world’s first seastead in French Polynesia.

Blue21 co-founder Karina Czapiewska has travelled to California to witness this monumental step in the development of a floating city in the South Pacific. Last autumn Blue21 was also part of a delegation that travelled to Tahiti to meet with President Fritch and other government officials to discuss plans to develop a seastead in French Polynesian waters. If all goes to plan, the special governing framework needed to realize development, will be completed by the end of 2017.

For more information check out the Seasteading Institute’s website.

Image source: The Seasteading Institute

Super rich set up $1 billion climate fund for clean energy innovation

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and nineteen fellow investors have set up the Breakthrough Energy Venture (BEV) which is focussed on fighting climate change by investing in forms of clean energy. Jack Ma (Alibaba), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Hasso Plattner (SAP), Richard Branson (Virgin) and former energy hedge fund manager John Arnold are just several of the multimillionaire investors who are committed to developing commercial clean energy technology. According to Forbes Magazine the combined net worth of the directors is estimated to be close to $ 170 billion.

Over the next 20-years BEV will aim to commercialize clean energy by investing in new technologies that reduce greenhouse- gas emissions and deliver affordable and reliable energy for future generations. This news follows the latest reports of president-elect Donald Trump appointing vocal climate-change deniers who advocate for traditional energy sources such as gas, oil and coal, the exact opposite of the emission-free future that BEV is striving to realize.

Here at Blue21 we are thrilled with this news. Generating renewable energy on land and of course on sea!! is the only way to keep our blue planet habitable.

Online newspaper Quartz has published an article about the BEV initiative.

Image source: Breakthrough Energy

Alternative offshore energy storage being investigated

Wind farms and solar-energy plants produce free energy, but the availability can change from minute to minute. In order to be able to compete with more traditional forms of energy production it is important to store surpluses on a large-scale for times of scarcity. Pumped storage, as it is called, was until recently, dependant on convenient geography to be built and done so on a two-reservoir-model. Two individual projects are investigating how to adapt the principle of pumped storage to cheap and reliable systems in order to smooth the output of energy and to become large-scale contributors to power generation.

The first project has been running for a year in Toronto, Canada and is situated at the bottom of Lake Ontorio. Compressed air is pumped to a storage vessel 55 metres below the surface of the water where it is stored in spherical bags made by proprietary material. When energy is needed, the air is released to the onshore plant, its expansion there back to normal pressure drives a turbine.

In Germany the StEnSea system (Storing Energy at Sea) has been launced at a depth of 100 metres in Lake Constance. Rather than storing compressed air, this system uses water to pump energy to and from a series of concrete pressure vessels, turning turbines as it travels.

In The Economist an interesting article about both projects and their expected storage capacity.

Image source: © HOCHTIEF Solutions – Storing Energy at Sea

How would you design a floating city?

You can share your ideas on designing a floating city during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven from the 22nd to 30th of October, where our floating city design is part of Regeneration.

Our floating city design will be on display and open to feedback from visitors. This way we want to raise awareness on floating development as a solution to sea level rise, land shortage and climate change. And of course all feedback will help us in further developing our vision and design for floating cities of the future.

I am unable to attend the DDW but here are

 my ideas on designing a floating city

Thank you for sharing!

Location and opening hours Floating City @DDW

ddw-2016_2

Photos © Cleo Goossens @DDW 2016

Blue21’s floating city at Dutch Design Week 22nd -30th October


What ideas do you have when it comes to designing a floating city? You can share them with us during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven from the 22nd to 30th of October. There our floating city design will be on display and open to feedback from our visitors.

Will you not be visiting the Dutch Design Week? Or have you obtained new insights since you have visited our exhibition?

Then you can share your ideas with us here. In doing so you will help us in further developing our vision and design for floating cities of the future. Thank you!

On Regeneration
Our floating city design is part of Regeneration, an exhibition curated by Transnatural.

Regeneration explores the possibilities of regenerating our current, ecosystems. The exhibition will show a variety of projects by artists and designers who deal with issues involved with this ecological regeneration and, simultaneously, they investigate newly possible resources derived from these regenerated ecosystems.

Transnatural composed and curates the exhibition and offers an ongoing cultural program on balancing nature and technology and represents an Art & Design Label. After the DDW the exhibition will travel home to Transnatural where you can visit it until April 28th 2017.

Projects and participants
Caravel / Ivan Henriques (BR), The Salt Project / Eric Geboers (NL), Interwoven / Diana Scherer (NL), The Floating City / Blue21 (NL), Post-Fishing / Inês Marques (PT), Mist Collecting Surface / Robyn Tayler Payne (UK), ReGen Villages / ReGen Labs (NL) & Effekt architects (DK)

Hawaii surf is generating renewable energy

Hawaii is famous for its surfing and legendary waves that attract surfers from all over the world. The American state situated in the Pacific Ocean is testing how they can use these very waves to produce renewable energy that will power homes on the islands.

For this trial two wave turbine machines have been placed in the waters of the Kaneohe Bay. The machines, installed by the U.S. Navy, have been producing enough energy to power around a dozen homes, but the expectation is that future versions will be be able to supply hundreds of homes with renewable energy.

Upworthy.com posted an interesting article on the subject.

Image source:Northwest Energy Innovations

Floating containers transformed into student housing in Denmark

The number of students is continually growing in many European cities, Denmark is no exception. In order to keep up with the rising number of new applicants, the city of Copenhagen is looking into options to be able to house the 24.000 student applicants without housing every year. Bjarke Ingels from architecture firm BIG designed Urban Rigger after entrepreneur Kim Loudrop came up with the idea.

Urban Rigger is a complex of stacked reclaimed shipping containers which have been transformed into 15 living spaces that have been situated around an internal courtyard. The structure sits in the harbor of Copenhagen and due to the use of solar power, hydro source heating and low-energy pumps, it is completely carbon neutral.

According to its architect, Urban Rigger can be replicated in other harbor cities with limited space for urban development. At present several requests have been received by Urban Rigger from North America and there are plans to create a unit in Sweden which means that more floating containers may be constructed in other harbor cities around the world.

Image source: WebUrbanist.com

Blue21 gives keynote speech at Cadac Summit 2016

On the 29th of September Cadac Group and NedGraphics held their annual Cadac Summit for Construction, Government, Infrastructure and Civil Engineering. This edition the theme was Going solo is faster, but collaboration will take you further. Blue21 co-founder Bart Roeffen was invited to be one of the keynote speakers during this event.

In keeping with the theme Bart spoke about how collaboration has helped Blue21 take the first steps on their Blue Revolution. By seeking partners who they can work together with, and learn from their expertise, the realization of the first floating city in the world is now closer than ever before.

Image source: Cadac Group and NedGraphics

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