Kura Kura Bali

Island of Happiness Coastal Design Competition

Island of Happiness Coastal Design Competition

Propose a new, sustainable approach to seawall design and construction.
Grand Prize Winners Announced
Up to $180,000 value

Challenge Overview

Creating the Island of Happiness

The search for harmony between people and their environment is timeless, but our successes have traditionally come with a negative impact on the environment. Seawalls have been no exception to this legacy, but their function of protection from storms and erosion remains a vital need. That’s why The Island of Happiness is looking to bridge the gap in sustainable seawalls, and that’s where we need original, mold-breaking designs.

There has yet to exist a treatment for the sea edge that is sustainably designed without sacrificing an elegant aesthetic. Your challenge is to propose a new kind of sea edge treatment that can be created first for the Island of Happiness, and eventually become the new standard for sea edge treatments in the rest of Indonesia and possibly other parts of the world.


Prize Summary

Prizes will be awarded to leading innovators in both the ideation and prototype phases. However, the money is just the beginning. Winners of the ideation phase who advance into prototyping will travel to the Island of Happiness to collaborate with Kura Kura Bali and other firms to develop and test their prototype (all expenses paid).

Other prizes may include

  • Recognition at the United Nations Global Initiative Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • Recognition in the Shanghai Gallery of Art at Three on the Bund
  • Scholarship (subject to meeting admission criteria) to enroll in UID’s flagship leadership development course conducted in collaboration with MIT Sloan School of Management, or other courses at our partners Tsinghua University, Bandung Institute of Technology, Paramadina University and University of Indonesia
  • Potential happiness job in the Island of Happiness, based on availability
  • The opportunity to apply your solution to seawalls in different parts of the Indonesian Archipelago

You’re in Good Company

There are a number of remarkable, accomplished individuals who have recognized the need for breakthroughs in sustainable development and endorsed the UN Sustainable Development Goals Pyramid initiative and we welcome you to join this movement. Included in that group is Unilever CEO Paul Polman, legendary American record producer, Quincy Jones, and former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres, and many more.

This competition serves a vision that embraces an economically and ecologically sound approach to development, best described by the minds behind Better Business, Better World. Isn’t it about time we prove this can be done and show others what’s possible?


What you can do right now:

  • Click "Accept Challenge" above to register for the challenge and view the submission form.
  • Click on the "Share" button above to share this challenge with your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for the coastal environment, engineering, or sustainability.
  • Leave a comment in the Forum to join the conversation, ask questions or connect with other innovators.


Want to learn more?

The Island of Happiness seeks to create a model community based on the principles of the Balinese belief in the Three Ways to Happiness: harmony with people, with nature, and with spiritual in all aspects of living. You can learn more about it and how it has been translated into a sustainable design framework by following this link. To this end, both the design and implementation of all projects must enhance and help maintain the natural beauty and culture of the island, and allow for further implementation and/or scale to other locations, worldwide.

If this sounds like the right kind of challenge for your aspirations, click the “Accept Challenge” button on the top of the page to sign up, view the submission form and stay informed on the latest developments and resources for competing! 

Updates 29
Forum 23
Community 261

Frequently Asked Questions

The part of the island where the seawall will be located has not yet been developed. The island is made up of rock and sand, and is very flat with no hills. The sea-edge treatment will be 950 meters and located in a bay where a marina will be constructed.


The bay has been dredged so the water is deep enough for larger leisure boats, but it is not meant to take larger commercial ships. There are some coral reefs around the island, including a 1.6 km coral reef that the developer has rehabilitated, but there is a clear passage for boats into the bay/marina.


The seawall is meant to protect a marina that will be built in a bay. In the marina there will be a number of commercial buildings (shops, restaurants, etc.) for the guests both at the marina and the surrounding resort developments on the island. Is should be possible to add plants, fish habitat, etc. to the seawall design.


The marina where the seawall will be located will be part of a 500 ha resort development. The promenade around the marina will have businesses for the tourists visiting the island, so it will be retail, restaurants, etc.


The other parts of the island will not have a seawall. Here there are beaches, and also mangrove forests, which protects the shoreline. At the moment the 500 ha island is largely undeveloped. Around half the island will be set aside for development, while the other half will be parkland and green spaces.

The population on the island is about 3,200, living in community that was established several hundred years ago. The community has a long tradition of fisheries and as sailors, and the village has its own port.

As mentioned, the marina/bay requires a 950 m sea-edge treatment to be constructed, and this is what we are looking for. Other parts of the island have beaches and there are also a large mangrove forest that protects the sea-edge on the other side of the island

Yes, dredging is possible. However, the correct permits will need to be put in place for both the dredging and for the discharging of the dredged material.

In terms of sourcing of materials, we encourage local sourcing. For timber, we would only want sustainable timber (certified harvested responsibly). Bali does not have a logging industry, but certified sustainable timber would be available from other parts of Indonesia.


A sustainable resource abundantly available in Bali and Indonesia is bamboo, which has already been used for some construction on the island.


Concrete, stainless steel rods, etc. is available in Bali. The same goes for the equipment you mentioned, as well as a flat area for staging.

The seawall will be constructed along the inner shore of a man-made lagoon fed by seawater from the Bali Sea and the objective with the seawall is to prevent shoreline erosion and protect infrastructure. It’s not meant to break waves.

Just type “Serangan Bali” into Google Maps and you will see a map of the island. The seawall will be constructed in the larger of the two bays on the island. Alternatively, here are the coordinates for the bay that you can put into Google Maps 8°43'41.7"S 115°14'28.0"E.

Tidal Characteristics: The bay surrounding Kura Kura Bali Island is characterized by semidiurnal tides with a maximum tidal range of 2.6 m. The highest tide usually occurs in October and in March.

● Mean Higher Water Spring: +2.3 m PD (PD = Port Datum)

● Mean High Water Neap: +1.6 m PD

● Mean Sea Level: + 1.3 m PD

● Mean Low Water Neap: +1.0 m PD

● Mean Low Water Spring: + 0.3 m PD


Wave Climate: The nearshore wave climate in the area is composed of transformed ocean waves from the Indian Ocean and waves due to local winds. The typical offshore wave height is smaller than 2 m, with extremes of 4 m to 4.5 m. Local waves are comparatively small with significant wave heights rarely exceeding 0.6 m (DHI, 1997). The wave height statistics from the past demonstrate the important role of the coral reef on substantial absorption and dissipation of the offshore wave energy when waves hit the eastern shoreline. Wind-generated waves usually have a frequency of about 20 seconds.


Port Datum is the vertical reference level for the port.

Chart Datum is the level of water that charted depths displayed on a nautical chart are measured from. A chart datum is a tidal datum; derived from a phase of the tide.

Yes, but it’s quick and easy. Just click the “Join Us” button at the top of the page and follow the instructions to complete your registration. All you need to provide is your name and email address.
If you have a question not answered in the FAQ, we recommend that you post it in the Forum where someone will respond to you. This way, others who may have the same question will be able to see it. Alternatively, you can contact the challenge sponsor by clicking the "contact challenge sponsor" link beneath the sponsor’s logo.

The current sea bed level is at -0.5m next to the shore, and then gradients down smoothly to a slope of less than 1:5.

 When the seawall will be built, the top capping beam will be at +3.2m with the sea bed depth varying around at about -2m. As per the engineering calculation, the vertical wall and the sheet pile is to have a total height of 13m and reach a depth of -9.8m.

 The variance of the seabed depth around the future seawall will depend whether marina berths will be built next to a specific section of the seawall. If so, additional dredging may be required to reach a depth of -4 to -5m as to properly allow the boats access.

Brief in Chinese