Now I don’t actually believe that the Maldives are being submerged by rising sea levels caused by global warming. Still the idea of repurposing old drilling platforms as seasteads is interesting. They might interesting places to live. Though living would be, by necessity, be confined in some ways. Larhe apartments and spaces are going to be rare, for instance.
Still there aren’t really any showstoppers. Huge ocean structure are already being fabricated for oil drilling and production. People live on them for long periods of time. It’s likely that offshore structures for various activities are going to get larger in the near future.
Living at sea has some exciting potentials and the possibility of a new kind of living. Only though if we create the fertile ground that lets pioneering like this happen. Otherwise we risk the kind of world like the one that Poul Anderson came up with in Orion Shall Rise.
The problem with those big developments is that they don’t seem to have much character. There’s something about the rows of closed doors in hallways that discourages intercommunication and neighborliness. Yes the big buildings have great views and are efficient but there’s not much character there. Walking in some of those Tokyo neighborhoods and they just ooze the kind character that gives life to a big city. Quite frankly, if you are hoping to encourage travelers to come, character and atmosphere are exactly what you want.
Here’s some big developments in Shinagawa:
On the Shimada River:
And one of the most infamous buildings in Tokyo, the Asahi beer building:
One thing those massive developments never seem to develop is true character.
They never seem to have life in the streets like this.
There’s something to be said about the places just hanging on, but providing a living for people.
A great city needs to remember where it came from and remember, no matter how great the developers claims that their plans don’t always work out. I’ve seen far too many cases where those big buildings just seem to be out of scale and out of touch with the communities that they are dropped into.
Context is important in development. And a city needs diversity. Anyway here’s an album of Tokyo neighborhoods with all sorts of buildings, large and small.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre | The falcon cannot hear the falconer | Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold | Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world | The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere | The ceremony of innocence is drowned | The best lack all conviction, while the worst | Are full of passionate intensity. -- W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming