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Cities In The Sea – Not As Whacko As You’d Think 14 June 2006

Posted by David in Conservatives.
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Today in the FT and The Telegraph comes the news that John The World in DubaiRedwood wants to build new cities on reclaimed land in the sea. Sadly a Telegraph Leader on the issue is rather negative, and the plan – which was proposed just a few months ago by the Institute of Economic Affairs – is likely to have quite a lot of derision and sneering in weeks to come. This is indeed a shame, as the plan is not half as whacko as it first sounds.

In Dubai, reclaimed land is increasing sea frontage from 50 miles to 950 miles, creating valuable property and building space. The tiny nation – roughly the size of Somerset – is even creating 'The World', a reclaimed landmass map of the planet. Interested parties can buy their favoured nation, state or even continent.

But reclaiming land is nothing new. Most of Holland was reclaimed, and the City of Venice is built on much enlarged islands. Closer to home, the fens and much of Norfolk were once beneath the sea. Whilst King Canute couldn't hold back the tides, he lacked the technology and was doing it all wrong, resulting only in wet ankles. Today, rocks are usually dumped at the sea, or land drenched up from beneath the water by boat.

By reclaiming land, we could protect the countryside and have larger properties, as well as facilitate economic growth and protect existing land from flooding. The current policy of 'letting go' is simply cheapness at the expense of valuable land. Good luck to this new plan.

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