Expert View

Floating the idea of cities and economic zones at sea

What are the pros and cons of this alternative to traditional settlement?

Urbanisation is often thought of as a land-based process. Increasingly, however, humans are venturing to the oceans, not just for travel and transport - but for settlement.

This is not as new as one might imagine. Maritime peoples through the ages have made a living from the sea, and settled not just in coastal areas but also on water. South-east Asia's floating villages, from Indochina to the Malay peninsula, are examples.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2018, with the headline 'Floating the idea of cities and economic zones at sea'. Print Edition | Subscribe