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Floating production of energy and food as opportunity for coastal circular cities


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Presentation by Barbara Dal Bo Zanon and Rutger de Graaf on the potential of floating production of energy and food to close carbon and nutrient cycles and achieve more resilience in coastal delta cities. First part of the presentation is based on publication by Dal Bo Zanon et al (2017) in the Journal of Cleaner Production. Second part of the presentation on how we translate our research findings in design concepts and real floating projects such as Floating Pavilion in Rotterdam and the Floating Island Project in French Polynesia.

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Floating production of energy and food as opportunity for coastal circular cities

  1. 1. a perspective for human development in the 21st century Barbara Dal Bo Zanon & Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther, Blue21 AMS Amsterdam- 29th May 2018 Floating production of energy and food as opportunity for coastal circular cities
  2. 2. Many of the world largest metropolitan areas are located in coastal areas and river plains Source: DeltaSync, 2017 Areas with flood risk Rapidly growing areas In 2030, 50% of the global population will live within 100 km from the coast COASTAL AREAS | Cities
  3. 3. • 42% animal species • 50% plant species COASTAL AREAS | Ecosystems
  4. 4. Earthzine, 2010 Manila, Philippines COASTAL AREAS | Rapidly growing cities
  5. 5. DeltaSync, 2012 CONVENTIONAL CITIES | Linear metabolism CO₂ NUTRIENTS
  6. 6.  Rapid urbanization in vulnerable coastal areas  Preserve biodiversity  Extreme weather events and climate change  Reduce emissions and increase resource efficiency  Anything else? 21st century urban challenges
  7. 7. LAND SCARCITY Sources: UN 2013, UN 2012 (World Urbanization Prospects), DeltaSync 2013 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Worldpopulation,billions Urban Rural Additional land requirement for 2050 Low scenario (106 km2) High scenario (106 km2) Urban area 1.5 2.8 Food production area 6.0 22.1 Biomass production area 3.4 4.3 Land degradation & climate change impact 2.3 6.5 Total land shortage 13.2 35.7
  9. 9. Source: Deltasync, 2012 CONCEPT | Closing CO2 and nutrients cycles
  10. 10. POTENTIAL OF FLOATING PRODUCTION FOR DELTA AND COASTAL CITIES | Published study 1. What is the potential of Floating Production (FP) for delta and coastal cities? o Nutrients o CO₂ emissions 2. How can FP contribute increasing existing cities’ resilience in the fields of food and energy? o Local food o Local energy 3. What is the impact of FP on a global scale? o Space saved on land o CO₂ emissions prevented
  11. 11. • Tidwell (2012), Aquaculture Production Systems. Wiley Blackwell • FAO reports on aquaponics METHOD Source: DeltaSync 2015 • FAOSTAT data on food supply • Jönsson et al. (2004). Guidelines on the Use of Urine and Faeces in Crop Production. EcoSanRes • Data on CO₂ emissions • Borowitzka et al. (2013). Algae for Biofuels and Energy. Springer. • Sudhakar et al. (2012). Theoretical Assessment of Algal Biomass Potential for Carbon Mitigation and Biofuel Production. Iranica Journal of Energy & Environment • Gerber et al. (2013). Tackling climate change through livestock – A global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities. • FAOSTAT data on land use MAIN SOURCES:
  12. 12. CASE STUDIES Sources:,,, Rotterdam Metro Manila • pollution issues • high population density and growth rate • high CO₂ emissions
  13. 13. NITROGEN (N) AND PHOSPOROUS (P) FLOWS *Values expressed in percentage. Source: DeltaSync, 2017
  15. 15. CONTRIBUTION TO RESILIENCE Source: DeltaSync 2017
  16. 16. IMPACT – LOCAL AND GLOBAL SCALE Source: DeltaSync 2017 x12 x74 up to 9% up to 26% Efficiency compared to global agriculture on land Rotterdam 130 - 284 x Metro Manila 189 - 355 x (18 km²) (168 km²) (~3,800 km²) (~47,000 km²) Space saved Space needed
  17. 17. Next research steps: Translate system analysis into design Opportunities for architecture, urban and landscape design 1. What are the spatial (urban) characteristics of FPDs? 2. What is a possible path for development and expansion? 3. How can the new development Interact with the ecosystem, providing habitat and other ecosystem services?  Looking for funding, partner and case study: Personal PhD project
  18. 18. Source: Topsectors & Blue21, 2016 Vision 2050 – NL 100% CO₂ neutral, biobased & circular
  19. 19. Source: Ecoboot From research to implementation: Building blocks Source: NASA Source: DeltaSync Source: Marinetek Source: Source: Floating breakwaterFloating wetlandsFloating buildings Floating algae systemsHydroponicsFloating roads
  20. 20. Source: René de With Blue21 mission: realizing floating cities with positive impact
  21. 21. Source: René de With Floating Pavilion - Rotterdam
  22. 22. Source: DeltaSync 2010 Floating Pavilion - Rotterdam
  23. 23. Source: Olaf Janssen Floating Houses – Harnaschpolder, Delft
  24. 24. Research on water quality/ecological impact of floating structures
  25. 25. Research on water quality/ecological impact of floating structures
  26. 26. Source: Blue21, 2017 Current projects - Floating Island in French Polynesia
  27. 27. Collaboration with the Seasteading Institute Jan 2017 Agreement with French Polynesian Government Dec 2013 Seasteading implementation plan Jul 2017 EIA for floating developm ent in French Polynesia Sep 2017 Concept design for Floating Island in Tahiti May 2018 – Crowdfunding based on cryptocurrency
  28. 28. Source: Blue21, 2017 Floating Island in French Polynesia - Concept
  29. 29. Current projects – R&D of Multi-use offshore islands: Space@Sea
  30. 30. Current projects – Floating solar: INNOZOWA
  31. 31. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS • A fundamental new approach to urban development is needed for the challenges of the 21st century • Floating city expansions combined with food production has the potential to provide: o local benefits as climate proof urban space, local food and biofuel production, and the creation of ‘green jobs’ o global benefits as recycling waste and CO₂ emissions, preventing nutrients pollution and reducing pressure on current fish stock • Floating Production can significantly reduce the global land area that coastal cities require to sustain their current food and fuel consumption • To utilize the potential of Floating Production, implementation as well as further research is needed • Floating cities construction is part of a wider societal transition in which governance is crucial
  32. 32. For more information DeltaSync/ Blue21 T: +31 152561872 Indymo +31 (0)6 1630 8790