The Netherlands to Pioneer Floating Cities

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded €5.3 million to the Floating Future research program. This program investigates from governance, technology and ecology how the Netherlands can build floating structures on a large scale and in a socially acceptable way. Specifically, it involves floating, climate-adaptive perspectives for inland waterways, port cities and the North Sea.

“‘The underlying question is how we can keep our densely populated country livable,” said Olaf Waals, offshore manager at MARIN and secretary of Floating Future. “There is an increasing demand for space for housing, industry, energy transition and food production. About 60 percent of our country is already vulnerable to flooding, and climate change means rising sea levels and river discharges are an increasing threat.

“But apart from risks, the water also offers opportunities for new forms of safe use of space: large-scale floating construction. If we want to scale up this floating infrastructure, we must take steps in terms of technology and in terms of social acceptance of living and working on the water. In Floating Future we investigate just that: a new phase in our transition from fighting against water to living with water.”

The implementation of the program and the various work packages will take place over the next five years and is in the hands of a broad consortium of companies, research institutes, universities and colleges. Various ministries, municipalities, water-related boards and societal partners are also involved. The consortium expects to present the first research results in 2024.

Learn more here.

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