Photo of the Day: Floating Homes in Cambodia

People are seen at their floating homes on Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia on April 2, 2015. (Kaley Portier/Flickr).

Want to see your images in our Photo of the Day posts? Use Flickr and tag your photos “asiasociety” or simply email your best shots from Asia to photos@theasiablog.org. Be sure to include where and when the photo was taken. We look forward to seeing — and publishing — your submissions!


@perrydowning galactic idiot™ strikes again

I can’t wait for him to stop being so dumb (go read Thwarted to see kyle ron do nothing right ever).

Would you kindly stop inspiring me?? hahaha ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Amphibious homes in Nicaragua give hope to local residents

Here’s a really interesting adaptation project in Nicaragua. As a specialist, I’ve seen countless “floating architecture” schemes over the years. Hardly one seemed viable over the long term, except this one.

The most famous floating home scheme is a project in New Orleans headed by actor Brad Pitt. With the help of famous architects and friends, Pitt helped build about 150 hurricane-proof homes in a vulnerable neighborhood in New Orleans. The media uncritically promotes the projects. A handful of the hurricane proof homes have the ability to “float” if water rises far enough.

It’s a sexy idea - what better way (besides not living in a flood zone) to fight hurricanes and flooding than to build tough structures that float? Very alluring, but is it viable? Consider that nearly 900,000 homes were destroyed by one event in 2005, Hurricane Katrina. Not to mention the countless millions of structures that were just plain lucky. Pitt’s 150 homes and a handful of inspired architects does not a safe-city make.

To me, CO2 Bambu’s floating home schemes is different. They’re targeting a smaller population. And the homes at risk are (frankly speaking) no more than wooden huts, making them cheaply replaceable. CO2 Bambu’s solution is to use the same local materials, but in a way that allows the homes to be stronger and last longer. Unlike Pitt’s project, which affects a very small real estate niche, these homes in Nicaragua can scale-up to the population size.

So, to me, their project seems more realistic and quite viable.

Video: Floods force nearly 1,000 residents in the Malacatoya river basin to evacuate nearly every year. And every year their homes and farms are severely damaged. Yet, the residents always move back to rebuild their homes.

A non-profit called CO2 Bambu is helping those residents adapt to the floods by building affordable homes that float.

MALACATOYA necesidad de un cambio de paradigma en zonas inundadas from Tierra Unida on Vimeo.