Are "floating cities" the new thing?

In the greedy real estate industry, creativity will be in demand worldwide in the coming decade. Somehow it must be possible to monetize two seemingly unstoppable developments. People are drawn to coastal cities, the quality of life in mind. Climate change, physically consistent, on the other hand, is causing sea levels to rise sharply. The loss of valuable coastal land is the logical consequence. From this, following economic principles, an almost immeasurable economic potential can be predicted. Demand increases, supply decreases. Anyone who can offer a safe prime location in the real estate industry despite climate change has taken care of it, it’s as simple as that. The idea of “floating cities” offers a solution and is already putting real estate developers in ecstasy. Rightly so?

The urban megatrend towards life on the water is unbroken. By 2035, according to the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT), over 90% of all megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants will be located on coasts. As an observer, one wonders how this development can fit together with radically shifting coastlines due to rising sea levels. She can’t. But if one does not allow oneself to be obscured by the question of fate that is associated with it for millions of people, then one really only asks one question: If only one could foresee where the future shoreline would run! The run on the future properties on the water would be opened.

Waterworld? Why the idea of “Floating Cities” remains science fiction

But it won’t be that easy with this land-and-soil bonanza due to the fickleness of the climate, so a plan B is needed. The real estate industry, clever as it is, strives for predictable profits. That’s why the newly emerging idea of “floating cities” is making the industry’s eyes shine. There are companies like Oceanix that plan cities for up to 10,000 people on floating platforms with a total area of 75 hectares. Naturally energy self-sufficient, optimized for waste prevention and with plant-based nutrition from vertical farms and aquacultures. It only gets more beautiful on Mars!


The concept of “floating cities” is a seemingly logical conclusion. If it were possible to build cities on platforms flexibly anchored in the seabed, the most valuable plots of land in coastal locations would be on offer in no time at all, climate change or not. But there is a catch. According to the IOM World Migration Report, around 3 million people worldwide move from the countryside to cities every week, most of them located on the waterfront. An unbelievable number. If you add all those coastal dwellers who lose their habitat in the course of sea level rise, it becomes clear that the idea of floating cities is a very privileged one. If you can, fly to Mars with Elon Musk or move to Oceanix City. The rest look for a shady spot where the earth is not yet an oven.

The struggle for sustainability is decided in cities

We humans so often strive for technological solutions to get our problems under control. This hubris obscures the view of what is really important. To preserve the livelihoods on this planet through radical climate protection measures for all people. Our struggle for global sustainability is largely decided in cities. They consume only 3% of the earth’s surface, but three-quarters of climate-relevant emissions occur here. We city dwellers can therefore take our fate into our own hands to a large extent through our actions, instead of waiting to be lifted onto a floating floe with a view of the sea. To all those who now come to me with the argument that their own purchasing and behavioral decisions make no difference, it is best to start saving for the children. Because against a place in the “Floating City”, the prices in Munich and other metropolises are a real bargain.