Giant Floating Lilypad Cities Possible Solution to Global Warming


Lilypads Docking near a Terrestrial City

Nowadays, many people are concerned about global warming. For most, those concerns usually result in a more conscious effort to recycle. For Vincent Callebaut, global warming is a very real threat that must be addressed immediately. Callebaut is an architect, however, so he intends to combat global warming the best way he knows how:  by building an enormous floating island that can host 50,000 people.

Callebaut’s design, which he appropriately calls the “Lilypad,” is what we might imagine a Godzilla-sized frog would rest upon. This multi-layered floating hotel would drift freely through the open ocean, following the currents as it makes its trek through the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific.

A View of the Lilypad from Underwater

Parks and gardens cover the surface of the Lilypad, even the vertical walls. Slopes rise up around the edges of the vessel to give an almost organic feel, like natural hills or petals on a flower. The Lilypad itself is actually quite beautiful, which is a bit ironic considering that Callebaut envisions that it will be a haven for families who are fleeing rising water levels. The structure is designed more as a lavish vacation home than a practical solution to global warming.

Lilypad Layout

Certainly, if global water levels increased then Callebaut’s Lilypad would be an excellent place for displaced refugees live, but for the Lilypad to work it needs to be much more than an oversized cruise ship. What will all 50,000 people do once they’re on the Lilypad? Can they all work and earn money? Can the gardens produce enough food to sustain the population? As nice as life on the Lilypad might be, the inhabitants will be severely limited in what they can do. Each Lilypad would be almost entirely dependent on terrestrial cities, and inhabitants would be largely unable to work and make money.

Lilypad City

If Callebaut really wanted to save the world by exploring aquatic living, the best route would be to invent a floating environment that could realistically sustain its inhabitants, rather than imagining a king-sized cruise ship. The 50,000 person count is commendable, but there comes a point at which such a densely packed group is more of a hindrance than anything else.

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