Award-winning architecture student Alfie Hope imagines a city floating on bamboo

Alfie Hope champions water-based urbanism with his proposal to grow floating land with bamboo.

The rising sea level is a global issue and we have seen it addressed with various creative urban planning and water management schemes. Architecture student Alfie Hope has his own take on the matter, which he unpacks in the project “Sea Rise City: Growing New Land in Bristol to Combat Sea Level Rise”. The proposal outlines how to develop a water-based city with the example of an imagined cityscape on the Severn estuary in Bristol backed by a partnership between the city of Bristol and the United Nations (UN).

Hope created Sea City Rise as a model for expanding urban infrastructure onto water so that coastal can cities have a means of adapting to rising sea levels. The basis of the model is growing buoyant bamboo landscapes on the sea where buildings can be constructed.

The method is inspired by the Aztecs on lake Texcoco who developed a method of farming floating crops, which eventually consolidated and thickened to form new land.

Hope has a very particular vision for the bamboo landscape. He imagines a floating headquarters for the UN’s department of Water and Climate Change, which will facilitate the construction and expansion of a floating city and serve as an institution for urbanism on water.

The utopic vision includes a self-sufficient community that thrives within the sustainable floating city. Bamboo is harvested organically, all waste is responsibly recycled, and a canal system runs throughout the floating structures.