By Sonya James
Posting in Cities
A new resort development will bring built islands, floating housing, and golf courses to the Maldives. Will the technology also have a socially meaningful impact?
Start with the rich, get rich, then give to the poor seems to be the motto for a massive new resort venture in the Maldives.
The idyllic set of islands currently sit only five feet above sea level. But Dutch Docklands, a developer from the Netherland's in collaboration with the local government, is using the threat of climate change as an incentive, not something to sweep under the rug.
The proposal? private floating islands and luxurious villas tailored to withstand climate change. The price? Upwards of $10 million.
Other amenities include an 18-hole golf course, the "Greenstar" hotel and convention centre, and the "Ocean Flower", 185 "Water H2Omes" built side by side in the shape of a typical Maldivian Flower (which incidentally looks strangely like suburban America).
"The price isn’t cheap," writes Ben Schiller of Co.Exist. "The villas start at $1 million, and "palaces" on the golf course will cost more than $10 million."
But Docklands’ CEO Paul van de Camp and his architect-partner Koen Olthuis have a vision that goes beyond the collective climate-induced anxieties of the rich. At least, they say they do.
"It’s not only for climate change. It’s good because [local residents] don’t have enough space," Docklands’ CEO Paul van de Camp says. "Building islands is a better option than reclaiming land, which would be a disaster for the coral reefs and the fish. The government wants to protect the marine environment."
Koen Olthuis has identified 20 major urban low-income areas where he thinks a low-cost version of the technology could be applied, including places in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and India.
The firm has already received dozens of inquires from cities hoping to extend their shoreline.
Aug 26, 2012
Except for the fact that it happens to be tropical what are the plus points? It suffers from perpetual shortage of fresh water. Severe south-west monsoons are not helping either. Only access is by plane / helicopter from Kerala in south India. Are they also planning to raise the entire ground level of the island with air transport facility which otherwise will also be submerged ?
There is and/or are planned to be artificial islands of very artificial shape off Dubai. What's Docklands doing that's different from those?
Why not just get rid of the Maldives. They are so low in the water that they are coming close to being a navigation hazard. Forget this silliness about making man made islands. Get real. Some people obviously have way too much time and money on their hands. You can do just about anything with those kinds of resources but the question is - is it worth it? Is it going to make the world a better place? Is it going to cause even more pollution? Pollution is already a major problem in the Maldives.
...for the "best exploitation of 'global warming' for the week". (And it's only Monday!) The economy of the Maldives is completely dominated by tourism, and tourism is the only reason that the vast majority of people who live there get to live there and have anything above a stone-age standard of living. The tourists who bring their money to support the economy of the Maldives and make grand schemes like this possible have to travel thousands of miles, usually by jet aircraft burning vast amounts of CO2-emitting fossil fuels. And then, most take fossil-fueled-powered boats the final miles to their ultimate destinations. For those who are fortunate enough to already live there, their CO2 impact isn't any better. Nearly everything they need to survive, including food and fuel is brought via aircraft or by diesel or oil-powered shipping. If the residents of the Maldives honestly believe that CO2 is solely responsible for ultimately dooming their islands, then I think they have the moral obligation to either revert to a completely carbon-free existence, (which means giving up the tourist trade) or leave. Demanding that the rest of the world pay them money so that they can continue with nonsense like this unabated is simply self-serving and hypocritical. And shame on the rest of the world for falling for it.
God help these cute little man-made islands when a hurricane hits. And hurricanes will hit, eventually. There's no coastline so sheltered that a heavy storm can't reach it. --Leslie < Fish