Floating Cities of the Future

Imagine stepping out of your floating city apartment and taking a slow stroll to work, while watching the almost endless horizon. Once you’re done for the day you’ll head to the restaurant district to have gourmet seafood, before returning to your apartment to watch the fish frolicking outside your window. Sounds a little farfetched, doesn’t it, but soon this sort of lifestyle may become a reality.  

Sustainable offshore settlements have been featured in science fiction works for centuries. With the lack of land available for urban developments, coupled with rising ocean levels, these sea-based cities are receiving more international attention. Currently, there are numerous artificial islands around the world, though these new floating cities are in a class of their own.

3 developing floating cities / man-made islands to watch out for:           

  1. SeaScraper

The SeaScraper, should it be built, will be an eco-friendly sustainable city run by ocean currents and photovoltaic cells – which in short is a fancy name for solar energy cells. Homes, offices, recreational areas, and even diving sites would be available to the residents. Sounds like a pretty utopian smog-free life to me.

  1. Green Star

The island nation of the Maldives is threatened by rising ocean waters, and Dutch Dockland’s offshore floating hotel is due to be completed in January 2014. This floating hotel will lodge 800 guests and have an attached conference centre that can accommodate 2,000 delegates. It will become the number one location for climate change and sustainability conferences. Plans are also underway for an adjacent floating restaurant island.

  1. The Citadel

Currently being developed in Holland, and expected to be complete in 2014, The Citadel will become the world’s first set of floating apartments, designed and built by architect Koen Olthuis. They will be in close proximity to The Hague, and were first conceived as a way to help protect residents from flooding – a frequent phenomenon in this part of the world.

3 Real floating cities / man-made islands you can visit  

  1. Dubai’s Floating Islands

Dubai is an international destination of note, with many fantastic shopping experiences and world-class hotels. While in this part of the world, try and visit their Palm Islands which are geared for the wealthy social elite. Celebrities who are looking to purchase a home on the still-being-developed World Islands include David Beckham and Rod Stewart.

  1. Aberdeen Harbour

First used by pirates as a home base in 1851, the floating city of Aberdeen Harbour hasn’t changed much over the centuries. Currently home to two floating restaurants, it is viewed by residents as an eye-sore, but still makes for an interesting visit should you be in Hong Kong.

  1. Hashima Island, Japan

Completed in 1887, the man-made island of Hashima, also known as Gunkanjima, was originally an undersea coal mining town. At one point it was the most densely populated land in the world with 85,500 people per square kilometre! Unfortunately the underwater coal ran dry in 1975 and petroleum became the preferred world-wide fuel, so it was shut down and residents moved on to find new work. Today, boats can dock on the island but tourists are not permitted to walk through the city –though urban explorers still find various ways around this.

Author Bio: Roseanna McBain is a writer for TravelGround. She enjoys learning about the fascinating and ever changing world around her, and loves trying new recipes from around the world.

Image credits to: The deserted Hashima island by Hisagi (Creative Commons).


Re: Sea Scraper

Hi Qasim,

Yes, Dubai has thought of trying their hand at floating cities, such as the Lilypad.They also might be the fourth country to build an underwater hotel (their Atlantis the palms hotel has two super suites which look into the aquarium ... not quite an underwater experience, but very close to it)

Their "Palm Island" is also incredible! It looks brilliant from above (just like a palm tree), though that's pretty much reserved for the rich and famous right now ...


Re: Sea Scraper

Hi Mae,

Thanks for your question! The SeaScraper would need to be built over a strong current, such as the Gulf Stream, in order to adequately power all the homes, offices, rec areas.

If you're interested in finding out more information, the two original project conceivers were William Erwin and Dan Fletcher. :)


This is a real 'wow' article.

This is a real 'wow' article. I am pretty sure that Dubai would have been the first country to add something like this.

Sea Scarper



Good Article. Interested in knowing where Sea Scraper would be built ?