Island of Hope


With global warming causing rising sea levels, countries like the Maldives face the possibility of being completely submerged by 2100. To address this issue, in 2008, the then president of the country, Mohamed Nasheed decided to relocate all his people. Today, the artificial island of Hulhumalé, also known as the City of Hope, is already home to 2,40,000 people. The island was created artificially using hundreds of tonnes of sand from the seabed. The first phase of Hulhumalé’s land reclamation started in 1997 when 188 hectares were built; over time, 244 more hectares of land were reclaimed.

Geo-engineering has played a huge role in Hulhumalé’s development. The buildings are oriented north-south to improve comfort and reduce heating caused by the sun’s rays. Streets have been designed to make the best use of wind in order to reduce the need for air conditioning. Schools, shops, prayer halls and parks are within 100 to 200mts walking distance from residential developments, thus reducing the need for cars. The island city also has electric buses and bicycle lanes. Apart from all the green initiatives, this is also Asia’s first 100% gigabitenabled smart city.

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