These Floating Sea Trees Could Bring Wildlife Back to Big Cities
In the world’s biggest cities, it’s hard enough for humans to find a little elbow room—now think about carving out habitat for wildlife in places like Manhattan. Dutch architect Koen Olthuis thinks he has the design that can extend urban sprawl into city waterways—but instead of floating high-rises offshore, he envisions wildlife oases within city limits. Called Sea Trees, the steel structures are based on existing offshore oil platforms. Anchored to the ocean or river floor, Sea Tree pillars would extend above and below the water surface, providing “layered” habitats—almost like the floors of a skyscraper—for flora and fauna. “Oil companies have used these floating storage towers for years, we only gave them a new shape and function,” Olthuis said in a statement. Olthuis, head architect at Waterstudio, thinks Sea Trees could bring animals back to areas taken over by humans, helping to stem falling wildlife populations. Olthuis designed Sea Trees to be inaccessible to humans.
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