Lilypad- сities are going to open new spaces for mankind and save humanity from climate disaster.

The steady rise of sea level is one of the remarkable effects of global warming. The sea rises in average 3,8 millimeters a year thus claiming more and more land from the man. In the twentieth century the general rise in global sea level was only ten centimeters, however it is anticipated that the current one will bring another fifty! The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Evolution (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - IPCC), an organization created by the UN in 1988, predicts that up to 250 million people on the planet can find themselves in the disaster area caused by this effect.

Among the solutions proposed to mitigate the rise of the sea level there is a one by a Beligan architect Vincent Callebaut. He refers to his project Lilypad as to a "Floating Ecopolis for Climate Refugees". A giant city resembling an Amazon lily should be able to place up to 50 thousand inhabitants in its three skyscrapers shaped as huge humps. 

Internal structure of Lilypad

Not only the name or the exterior of the of floating cities but also its internal structure is reminiscent of the natural prototype. Many "green" solutions and innovative technologies are hidden inside. Take, for instance, a "double skin" structure made of high strength polyester fibers covered with a layer of titanium dioxide. Under ultraviolet light it breaks down air pollutants by photocatalytic reaction. Energy is taken out of the wind, tides and waves, by recycling biomass of waste and of course using solar panels. Water purification is done by the plant-based reverse osmosis. With up to 500'000 square meters, the Ecopolis is able to accommodate very much any installation that could be required by its residents.

A three-humped giant will be stabilized afloat by the ballast, which actually is a lagoon in the center of Lilypad, fully isolated from the ocean and filled with fresh water. This water will come from the rain, and external sources and then recycled after domestic application. The pool has a quite complicated structure. On its surface facing the ocean the "gardens" of marine plants are settled, and inside the thick walls there will be rooms with astounding view into the undersee world. This space could be used for sea research or for entertainment purposes, potenitally generating an additional cash flow for the island. 

A variety of animals and vegetation will be located inside Ecopolis. Callebaut forsees plentora of hanging gardens and vertical farms, with the ultimate goal of creating a self-sustaining structure. Every Lilypad then could be seen as a tiny country. The architect writes:

The goal is to create a harmonious coexistence of the couple Human / Nature and to explore new modes of living the sea by building with fluidity collective spaces in proximity, overwhelming spaces of social inclusion suitable to the meeting of all the inhabitants – denizen or foreign-born, recent or old, young or aged people.

and further:

Political and social challenge, the urban sustainable development must more than ever enter in resonance worldly with the human sustainable development!

Submarine view of Lilypad

Lilypads for MonteCarlo at night

The idea of Callebaut is to place many artificial islands close to big cities at the coast. Living on the coast and at the same time near to metropolitans would make the real estate on the Lilypad islands attractive to buyers, despite the high cost of it.

The appeal of New Spaces to the public opinion: Why not start  experimenting with the self-sustained floating cities already now, while the environmental situation still not urges it and pitfalls can be discovered and mitigated proactively?

If you like this project, consider buying the books ( and here) by Vincent Callebaut in which he writes about this and fruther projects of his.