Singapore is small, but it certainly crams a ton of people into its borders. Over 5.6 million people live inside 259.5 square miles, the nation is struggling to manage its ever-increasing population. To expand the amount of land available and give room to grow to its population, the country had previously created land by dumping large quantities of imported sand in its coastal waters. This practice, however, has sparked environmental concerns, causing Singapore to search for alternative methods of land expansion. Giant floating rafts seem to be the preferred option.

A huge system of floating rafts, tethered to the seabed, would allow Singapore to expand on the surface of the water. But there are, of course, some concerns associated with the idea — like how to stop the rafts from wobbling. In an academic study published last month in Ocean Engineering, scientists proposed a grid of 40 individual floats connected to an onshore quay, and to each other, and which would sit about 60-feet deep. The first step is building a scale model to see how the idea could actually come to life and further experiment with ways to increase raft stabilization.

One of the chief anticipated problems is as old as rafts themselves: seasickness. Engineers are currently working on the issue so that the possible future occupants of those rafts would not experience the nasty effects that comes with a swaying apartment.

Other countries, like the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Israel, have also been looking into marine real estate as a means of expansion. While it hasn’t come to fruition quite yet, floating cities may indeed be the way of the future.

H/T: Smithsonian.com

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