Floating Cities and Amphibious Architecture are Part of the Answer: A Conversation with Expert Engineers from The Netherlands and India

October 12, 2022
11:00am - 12:00pm
Virtual Zoom
Floating Cities and Amphibious Architecture are Part of the Answer

Coastal cities and low-lying regions around the world are on notice that they will have to adapt to rising sea levels, higher king tides, and more devastating storm surges. In many cases, sea walls are not the answer. They’re too expensive, environmentally destructive, and don’t address the underlying problems. In some cases, floating cities and amphibious architecture will prove to be viable alternatives. Amphibious homes, floating neighborhoods, office buildings, hotels, even farms already exist. In the next phase, we move from proof of concept to proof of scale, and it’s starting to happen. In this special Climate Week at Penn follow-up webinar, Penn Professor Simon Richter will lead a conversation with two pioneers, Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther, co-founder and director of Blue21, a world leader in floating architecture based in The Netherlands, and Namna Gireesh, co-founder of NestAbide, a design and engineering firm specialized in floating and amphibious buildings, based in Kerala, India. Between them, they can answer all your questions about the technology, feasibility, affordability, and what the future holds, including plans to create floating cities in South Korea, Wales, the Maldives, and between Finland and Estonia.


Simon Richter

Simon Richter

Department of Germanic Languages and Literature University of Pennsylvania

Simon is the Class of 1942 Endowed Term Professor of German and chair of the Climate Week at Penn planning team. Simon's teaching and research focus on cultural aspects of resilience, climate adaptation and sustainability, especially with regard to water and forests, and take the climate emergency as their starting point. Recently, Simon has been a member of international design teams working on climate adaptation projects in Semarang, Indonesia, and Amsterdam.