7:29 AM PDT, July 24, 2022
A floating city may mean hope for the Maldives.
Social media influencers and luxury travel guides may tell you that the Republic of Maldives, a chain of atolls and islands located in the Indian Ocean, are the place to visit, as year-round average temperatures of about 86 degrees make it a dream destination for those chasing an endless summer.
But the tiny nation is in danger.
Rising sea levels caused by climate change are threatening the Maldives at an alarming rate.
According to NASA, most of the islands are just over 3-feet above sea level, making the Maldives “arguably the lowest-lying country in the world.”
The sea level is rising three to four millimeters every year. At the current rate, the Maldives could be uninhabitable by 2050. Citizens would have to leave their homeland.
The government has stepped in with an idea they hope will house residents and continue to attract tourists: a floating city.
The Maldives Floating City project is designed in a pattern similar to brain coral, and when finished will have canals running between 5,000 homes, restaurants, schools and stores.
The “floating” concept is important here. By staying on top of the water, the island can rise and fall with the sea level, lessening the threat of climate change.
Residents are expected to move to the Maldives Floating City starting in 2024 with the project set to be completed in 2027. It’s one more creative way people are trying to adapt to human-caused climate change.