Belgian designer Vincent Callebaut, the Lilypad's creator, describes the city as a "floating ecopolis for climate refugees," but it looks more like a resort than a shelter. Inspired by nature, it's designed to house 50,000 people displaced from the effects of global warming and other ecological disasters, and be entirely self-sufficient so it doesn't contribute to the problem. As a floating city, it can really pick and choose how it gets its energy since wind, solar and hydropower are all easily accessible, and all food and water could be grown or processed. The artificial yet natural landscape won't have climate refugees feeling like they live on a junker from Waterworld, either.
It's just about the most fashionable way to weather any ecological nightmare. While the Lilypad may never see the light of day, any zero-emission city design is certainly a step in the right direction.