The second-smallest country in the world (after the Vatican) has plans to expand its territory by building more land on stilts in an idea inspired by oil rigs.
Monaco, the "playground for the rich," has run out of space. With less than a square mile of territory, Monaco's ruler, Prince Albert II, wants to build more land in a project not unlike Dubai's artificial islands. The project would similarly boost the country's economy and draw international attention - yet unlike Dubai's standalone islands, Monaco's new land would be attached to the shore, and stand on stilts.
Critics decry the environmental damage such a monumental project would wreak on the native ecosystem. "If a new development is simply placed on top of the sea where these ecosystems are, they will be starved of the light that gives them life. That is very difficult to defend," said a Nice-based NGO.
Proponents, however, argue that the project is very eco-conscious. "Not only will we protect the ecosystem but we will actually better the environment by putting in man-made reefs to allow species to thrive," said Monaco's environment councilmember.